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Stogie Tips: Cigars and the Common Cold

7 Apr 2010

Some call it a sinus infection. Others call it the common cold. The medical community recognizes it as a “viral upper respiratory tract infection.” No matter what the name, the symptoms are usually the same: runny nose, sore throat, mild fatigue, and possibly a fever. And, like the summertime blues, there ain’t no cure.

NyQuilThe average adult experiences two to four colds per year. I got my first (and hopefully last) case of the 2010 cold this weekend. In typical fashion, it came overnight with a scratchy throat, stuffed up my nose for a few days, and left just as quickly as it arrived. No big deal, but enough to frustratingly cause me to cancel a few weekend activities.

One activity I usually cut back on while sick is cigar smoking. I’m not really concerned that cigars will prolong the cold’s duration (although doctors say smokers tend to have longer colds—but then again, doctors say a lot of things). I just find cigar smoking a lot less enjoyable when my throat is sore or my nose is clogged.

I’d never attempt to review a cigar when my nose—the best cigar tasting instrument I have—is out of whack. Recently, though, I conducted an experiment. I fired up a Rocky Patel Vintage ’90 Toro to see if I could identify the flavors I normally associate with this cigar (cocoa, spicy wood, etc.) I couldn’t.

Not even close. I could have been smoking pretty much anything and it would have tasted like chalky, billowy air. As expected, this was a reminder of the huge role our sense of smell plays in cigar tasting and how important it is to routinely smoke through the nose.

Aside from being an impediment to appreciating premium tobacco, my cold also reminded me that I’m far from addicted to tobacco. I went a solid five days without smoking (and I’ve gone much longer under different circumstances, like when I was training for a marathon). Never once did I experience cravings, headaches, nausea, anxiety, or other symptoms common to those trying to quit cigarettes. Sure, I missed not being able to thoroughly enjoy a cigar. But it wasn’t an epic battle to lay off the leaf for awhile.

Now I’m feeling much better. I took my nose for a test drive with a 601 Red and everything seems to be back to normal. Health permitting, I’m looking forward to catching up on some new reviews and Quick Smokes in the weeks to come.

The next time I get a cold, I’ll probably get lots of sleep, drink lots of fluids, and avoid cigars—at least expensive ones. I suggest you do the same.

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate

13 Responses to “Stogie Tips: Cigars and the Common Cold”

  1. Keith1911 Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    Patrick, I experienced the same thing you did over the weekend. I was really sick from Thursday through Sunday and didn't have a cigar because I knew I wouldn't be able to taste it and therefore not enjoy it. I didn't experience any cravings or issues because of not having a cigar. I like you missed then enjoyment and relaxation of it.

  2. CigarCraig Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 4:56 am #

    From one who is currently aflicted, you make some excellent points. Nothing tastes right when you head is stuffed. I can't wait for the sinuses to clear so I can enjoy a cigar again!

  3. mighty Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 5:47 am #

    I also currently have those symptoms. It's amazing how many people don't understand that the vast majority of cigar smokers do not get addicted to them. As I like to say, It's a hobby not a habit.

  4. cigarfan Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    I got slammed by the flu (not sure if it was H1N1 but it was really unpleasant) three weeks ago and I'm only now starting to get back into the swing of things. If anything it's a nice time to observe the renewing effect of abstinence.

  5. dmjones Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Sounds like it could be actually a "good" thing to occasionally get sick and avoid cigars for a few days…I remember a couple times when I've had to lay off for several days the first cigar back always tasted great.

  6. Josh Friday, April 9, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    ive always held that smoking actually clears your sinuses, it usually does for mine. i wouldnt recommend it as a cure to the cold but smoke typically helps clear my head.

  7. steve Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    If you want a simple way to terminate a sinus infection, I found some stuff that kills fungus and bacteria that you really ought to try. The antibiotics don't kill the fungus and you need to kill both. This stuff does. You just spray it in your nose and WOW, it got rid of my nasty sinus infection in about a week. I had tried antibiotics that were specifically prescribed for my sinusitis and I also tried a neti pot (yuk) but just couldn’t get this sinus infection to quit. So I did a search and found this stuff (Sinus Relief) from Nature’s Rite. The only problem is that you have to spray it every 30 minutes. I thought, hey, what the heck, it’s worth a try and every 30 minutes isn’t too bad. I was really surprised how well it worked so I bought their sinus support too. It’s been a good moisturizer with calendula and aloe. It’s herbal ya know. I like herbal stuff. So anyway, you should try this for your sinusitis. It won’t make you have a yeast infection after-words like some antibiotics do.

  8. Brian Friday, April 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Yeast infection…? So you spray the stuff in your vagina?

  9. sean Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    as someone who currently has a cold/sinusy thing, I have not had a cigar since Tuesday, when I had 2 over the course of 3 hours with friends. While I want a cigar, I have the same craving one had for a slice of cake (well, I just had one, so bad example)–I am not going to go through withdrawal or something. I'd while there is little I enjoy more than a good cigar, I currently suspect that what I really enjoy is the social aspect of the hobby; that is, some of my best, most interesting conversations have occurred at cigar lounges with a stogie in one hand and a bottle of scotch on the table with my fellow regulars. While I would, under normal circumstances, be going to Davidoff Lounge at the Time Warner Center tomorrow afternoon, I am unlikely to do so. It is a great way to unwind after a long day, don't get me wrong. But why spend $8 to $15 on a stick that you will barely taste? What I miss most is the social aspect. It is amazing, the total misunderstanding of cigars that many non-smokers have. While a cigar has nicotine, addiction in cigar smokers as a percentage, of, say, cigarette smokers, is but a fraction of that number. But more to the point, who cares? The decision to smoke is a free decision made by free people, and no matter how addictive, all addictions can be overcome if the will is strong enough. My Grandfather stopped drinking right after his diagnosis of cirrhosis.

  10. Medicinal Herbs Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Nice article… But somehow controversial. Still going viral here.

  11. marthacodd Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    Hi Patrick, would an allergic to odor consider sinusy thing?

  12. yeast infection jane Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 5:07 am #

    Sinus is a problem suffered by millions all over the world.
    There is no permanent cure for sinus.

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