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Guest Commentary: Cigar Appreciation through Distraction

28 Sep 2009

[Editors’ Note: The following is a guest commentary from Chris Verhoeven, a friend of who is studying at Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.]

Initially, the concept of “cigar appreciation through distraction” sounds like a contradiction in terms. How can one further enjoy a cigar by distracting oneself from the experience of smoking it? Let me explain.

Distraction for your cigarI recently embarked on the journey that is getting a master’s degree and have found that I have more reading to do than ever before. This includes a good deal of things that I would not regularly consider enjoyable reading, too, and it started to eat away at my free time—a time usually devoted to cigar smoking.

I decided that I should simply combine the two. Pick out a cigar and head for my university’s smoking lounge to light up and power through some material. Since I assumed I would be consumed by the task of reading, though, I continually reached for my lesser sticks. Good sticks in their own right, but not ones I would otherwise pick for an all-out smoking experience. These include Don Lino’s Africa line, Padilla Hybrids, and the Tatuaje Angeles.

But something strange happened. I found that I started to enjoy these sticks, cigars that I smoked regularly back when I couldn’t afford the high-end stuff, more than ever before. I was falling in love with them again. This got me thinking.

Awhile back, published an article that evinced that the average cigar was only meant to be puffed once or twice per minute. What I found was that by distracting myself, I smoked at a slower, more relaxed pace and generally enjoyed the cigar more while picking up on its subtleties.

So, with this in mind, I suggest you give it a try. Pick out a book, trudge through some Sudoku puzzles, or do anything else that you enjoy. Much like fine liquor, these activities can actually complement the cigar and add to your enjoyment of the smoking experience.

That said, I’ll still probably continue to horde my Opus Xs, Anejos, and Padrón Anniversaries for special occasions or moments of blissful smoke emersion. But at least now I’m giving myself a chance to fall in love with some of fine, cheaper sticks that simply require me to slow down and give them a chance to shine.

Chris Verhoeven

photo credit: Flickr

10 Responses to “Guest Commentary: Cigar Appreciation through Distraction”

  1. Chris Farley Monday, September 28, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Wow, I didn't know anyone else did this. My reading material is US Government Requests for Proposals and the Federal Register. I have a few theories about why this happens.

    Your post has inspired me to perform an experiment and put in an effort to find out why mediocre cigars end up being so good when smoking them while distracted. I'll share my results when the experiment is done in the hopes that you or someone else can replicate my results.

    This is a very busy season for both Requests and new laws, so I've got plenty of unpleasant reading to accomplish.

  2. furious Monday, September 28, 2009 at 1:59 am #

    Excellent post, Chris, and I find that I get much more reading accomplished while smoking a good cigar than I would otherwise. Maybe the act of smoking somehow concentrates one's focus on the task at hand.

  3. George E. Monday, September 28, 2009 at 3:26 am #

    Chris – You're absolutely right. Reading and cigars are an unbeatable match.

  4. Patrick A Monday, September 28, 2009 at 4:03 am #

    As a fellow master’s student, I too have found cigars to be an exemplary study aid. It’s a lot easier to plow through dense academic articles and essays with the help of some premium tobacco.

  5. Joey P Monday, September 28, 2009 at 4:26 am #

    I guess I'm not the only one! When I have to sit down and read books for school, though I am nowhere near a masters or bachelors program, I have found I enjoy lighting up a nice mild smoke, a CAO Gold for instance, when I need to read or do some super boring homework. It helps relax and ease the mind. But for certain things, I find the cigar more enjoyable than the task and start to focus more on the stogie. I completely agree with the article, especially saving the good smokes for when the focus on them can be fully 100%.

  6. Alex Verhoeven Monday, September 28, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    I'm Chris' brother and will be graduating medical school soon. I mention that because I can lend some authority to what some of you have noticed in the comments.

    Smoking DOES increase your concentration. The nicotine acts like a small hit of many ADHD medicines (think Adderall here). You are not noticing that it's easier to study because you are distracted, in essence it is doing the exact opposite and helping you focus.

  7. Cigar Palace Monday, September 28, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    100% agree with you guys. I guess cigar match with reading and writing exactly the same as fine scotch.

    Great writing, I think it was with a cigar!!

  8. brent Monday, September 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    i 100% agree with you, ive been getting my history readings done while smoking for the last couple years now. what you said about smoking rate really holds true, i find when im out smoking alone and walking around campus, i puff a little too fast, but when im reading i can enjoy the slower pace.

  9. John70 Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    In that step, parts of the original transcript are spliced out and discarded. ,

  10. Gangster43 Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    Asian newspapers, where it hit a nerve. ,