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Stogie Commentary: Quitting is the Big Difference

17 Jun 2008

Recently, I read two columns on smoking. The first, by Joseph Brown in the Tampa Tribune, explored and excoriated Tobacco Free Florida for its advertisement that claims 38,000 Americans die annually from secondhand smoke—1,000 more than the number killed in auto accidents.

The second, by Jane Brody in the New York Times, dealt with the difficulties of quitting cigarette smoking. And it was a statistic she presented that made me think about a vast difference in cigar and cigarette smokers. According to data she cited, 70 percent of cigarette smokers say they want to quit and many, many of those who try to stop fail rather quickly as a result of circumstances.

Think about that for a minute. Nearly three-quarters of those who smoke cigarettes want to stop. How many premium cigar smokers do you know who want to quit?

I’d guess the number is zero. When someone wants to quit smoking cigars they just stop. And they don’t start again unless they consciously decide they want to. (Oh, I’m sure there are people who smoke machine-made cigars and “little cigars” who inhale and are addicted to the nicotine. If you looked hard enough, you could probably find someone who inhales premiums and is hooked on the nicotine, too. But I’m talking about the other 99.9 percent of us.)

With so much anti-tobacco effort devoted to stopping under-age smoking so that young people won’t become addicted, it seems worthwhile to point out that cigars don’t present that problem. Cigar smokers light up because they want to, not because they need to.

George E

photo credit: Flickr

13 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Quitting is the Big Difference”

  1. Gilster Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 3:25 am #

    Pharmaceutical companies manufacture and distribute nicotine. There will always be 'PC' nicotine.

    Smoke is Smoke George, you are not helping your position in denigrating the cigarette smoker by putting the Cigar on a high pedestal.

    Your commentary reeks of being 'just a little bit anti'

    We are all in this together.

    This isn't just about smoking.

  2. BigRed421 Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 4:03 am #

    I didn't read this as George attacking or "denigrating" cigarette smokers. He's merely pointing out a major difference.

    As a cigarette-smoker-turned-cigar-enthusiast, I think he's right. Cigarettes are a habit to satisfy a fix; cigars are a celebration in flavor.

  3. Bob Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 4:05 am #

    An alternative to going "cold turkey" on stogies is commercially available in the form of electronic cigars, cigarettes and pipes. One brand name, Crown7, touts its products this way:

    * They contain nicotine, but NO TOBACCO, tars or other harmful ingredients;

    * They emit only a harmless vapor that simulates smoke yet satisfies the nicotine urges and cravings;

    * They’re not offensive and can be enjoyed anywhere smoking is prohibited;

    * They can transform traditionally smoke-filled environments (i.e., casinos, bowling alleys, pool halls, bars and restaurants) into smoke-free environments that can be enjoyed by smokers and non-smokers alike; and, perhaps best of all,

    * They leave none of the residue and odors that accompany traditional cigarettes on clothing and other surfaces.

    Worth considering, don’t you think?

  4. Mac and Nudo Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 4:07 am #

    For political reasons, it's important to differentiate the big cigarette companies from the small, family-owned cigar manufacturers. That has to be the reason why the Retail Tobacco Dealers of America changed its name to the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

  5. George E. Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 5:28 am #

    I'm not anti-cigarette. I smoked cigarettes for decades and, quite honestly, enjoyed it. It was years after I quit that I began smoking cigars. I don't think one had anything to do with the other. The main point I was trying to make here is that, while the two activities involve tobacco, they are fundamentally different and it's in the interest of cigar smokers to point that out.

  6. Gilster Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 6:40 am #

    George, to Tobacco Control and Environmentalists there is no difference.

    Smoke is Smoke.

    To say Cigar smoking is different – 'better' , may make you feel nice and cozy that '"well at least we aren't addicted to nicotine' will not help people who enjoy Cigars to shake the stigma we are all facing.

    Smoke is Smoke.

    There are towns across the country trying to ban fireplaces and fire pits. Get ready for the BBQ bans.

    They don't contain nicotine.

    You may hold onto your difference.

    To an Anti there is no difference.

  7. Joe Holub Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    I agree with the blog. I smoke two cigars a night to unwind. Since I've started smoking, I don't drink as much because I don't like the way the mix…I can get the spins when mixing them. I also don't sit and watch TV and eat a bag of chips or something. I don't get the shakes during the day or on the nights I don't smoke, I don't get any withdrawal symptoms. I will however say, that recently my chest had kind of a heavy feeling, or if I'm lifting something heavy, my chest does feel a strain on it. I have no problems when I breate in or out. I've only been smoking cigars for like 7 years and Im 35 years old. Has anyone out there experienced any kind of chest pains like this? I'm very worried about it. I don't want to quit and I am part of my own blog and even represent cigars in my city. I would be crushed if I had to quit, especially when I know guys who smoke 5 or 6 cigars a day all day long. So, breathing in the smoke must have some ill effects that no one wants to talk about. I supposed moderation is the key and two cigars a day might be over-doing it. I would love to hear from anyone who has had any kind of chest pains from only smoking cigars and not inhaling.

  8. VJ Sleight Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 6:05 am #

    I regard smoking cigars, the same way I view seatbelts. How often do you need to wear a seatbelt? Most would answer–every time you drive. But I believe that you only need to wear a seatbelt when you are in an accident. The problem is that you never know when that accident is going to happen. Unfortunately, we don't know when the "accident" of disease will strike either. But it's not just about inhaling and lung cancer. A man in one of my cessation classes developed lip cancer from 20 years of smoking cigars. He didn't die but since his lips were cut off and surgically remade–he told me that it took all the fun out of kissing. Anyone with heart disease would be foolish to be around any kind of smoke because of the effect of carbon monoxide in smoke. Chest pains should give you a clue. Also cigarette smokers who switch to cigars are more likely to inhale since that is what they are used to. Wouldn't it be nice if we knew what diseases we are proned too, so that we could side step the lifestyle choices that would exacerbate our underlying vunerabilities? So how often do you need to wear a seatbelt or how many cigars are "safe"?? For free quitting tips, visit: http://www.Stop Smoking Stay

    VJ Sleight, Queen of Quitting, a former smoker and 20 year cancer thrivor

  9. marine2171 Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 7:34 am #

    I agree with George, I have been smoking cigars for close to 11 years. The only times I smoke are when I choose to, this means when I am with my best friend hanging out or on some long drive.

  10. Vapor Cig Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    What type of E-Cig is best?
    Personally I think a refillable "tank" style e-cig is the right option. It's much cheaper than buying cartomizers or prefilled cartridges..
    There's the slim/small tank style e-cig. Goes by the name "510 Tank" often. Then there's the ego-tank and ego-C which is the same concept but larger battery.
    Everyone has their own opinions. I mainly go by what is the most efficient/affordable and is it messy or does it leak.
    Hope this helps

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