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Commentary: My Life without Cigars

29 Sep 2011

Last Friday I did something I should have done a long time ago, something most people take care of while they’re in high school or college. I had my wisdom teeth yanked out.

I didn’t really have anything against these three impacted bastards per se. For years I was aware that they were in there, and for years I was told by dentists that the choice to leave or remove them was my own. Since I’m no fan of oral surgery, I decided to let them be. That is until I started to get headaches in my temples and pain in my jaw. That’s when I (eventually) manned up and scheduled the same procedure that so many women and children have survived before me. How courageous.

Now, five days after D-Day for the wisdom teeth, my mouth is starting to heal. The headaches persist, but I expect them to subside as my jaw slowly gets used to all the extra space in my face.

As the healing process runs its course, I must abstain from cigars. There are certain things all post-extraction patients must avoid for at least a week, including straws, tortilla chips, booze, and popcorn. But top of the list is smoking. Smoking in the days following oral surgery can cause complications the likes of which I want no part.

I knew this ahead of time. That’s why, in the days leading up to the surgery, I lit up some of my favorite smokes, including the Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8, Tatuaje L’Espirit de Vérité 2009, Tesa Cabinet 312, and the PG 15th Anniversary.

I haven’t smoked anything in a week now. So far that’s going fine. Cigars are nothing like cigarettes when it comes to addiction (or anything else for that matter). Would I love to spark something special right now to celebrate my reemergence into the world of premium tobacco? Of course. But that would be premature. I’m holding off until I’m back to normal.

But this run of consecutive cigar-free days brings up some interesting questions: What’s the first cigar I should light up when the hiatus is over? What’s the longest you’ve gone without a cigar since becoming a true cigar enthusiast? What other cigar related activities should I engage in while I’m not smoking—organize my humidors, catch up on reading, etc.? I’d love to see your feedback in the comments below.

Patrick A

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15 Responses to “Commentary: My Life without Cigars”

  1. Robert Samberg Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Do it right, Camacho Liberty 2011! Happy herfing!

  2. David Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    I would go with a classic great smoke: Padron 1964 Anni. Natural.

  3. Nick M Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    I've been holding off on this surgery as well. If I had to take a break from smoking I'd want to start back up with a bang. Fuente Anejo double corona.

  4. Will Kamerman Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    I'd say smoke something tasty but not too powerful, since your nicotine tolerance might be a little low after the hiatus. I'd personally go for something like an El Triunfador No. 1. But if you're looking for something really good that you haven't reviewed already, I recommend the Alec Bradley Black Market. It's a really solid medium-bodied smoke with just enough kick to make it count.

    I had all four of my wisdom teeth yanked out at the beginning of the summer, two of them were impacted. Didn't eat solid food or drink anything (anything interesting, anyway)for nine days, and I didn't smoke for about another week after that. Slowest two plus weeks of my damn life, so I'm with you man, hang tight!

  5. cigarphil Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I've gone two weeks a couple times while in the hospital and toward the end of my visit I'd look longingly at the people on the street smoking. I think I'd start with a Cabaiguan Robusto Extra, not too strong but a beautiful cigar to remind you why you smoke. A good beginning to continue your adventure.

  6. Jeff Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    The last paragraph makes me curious: must a "true cigar enthusiast" smoke every day? I realize I'm out of my league with a lot of folks who smoke significantly more cigars than I do, but dammit I want to continue to hold myself out as a "true cigar enthusiast" as well…

  7. Cigar Seeker Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I just went 3 weeks without any good cigars just this past August. The reason is that I was on a monthlong car tour of the Eastern time zone with the wife. I had figured I could sample various premium smokes at cigar shops along the way. Unfortunately, I started in the South. I was unable to locate anything beyond what I would rate as 1 1/2 stogies. Denintely "Archie Bunker" class smokes, if youy get my drift. Fortunately, on week 3 I found myself in Plymouth, MI, where I found a delightful cigar shop. Picked up 3 Padrons. They were good, but I was disappointed in the quality-to-price ratio. Sure glad I'm back home now and can do my usual sticks, mostly Tatuajes.

    • Patrick Ashby Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      Just to be clear, I in no way intended to imply that you have to smoke daily to be a true cigar enthusiast. I'm just wondering how long most other cigar fans have gone without cigars since they took up this wonderful hobby.

  8. Brad Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Go Mild- Medium to Medium and make sure you have a full stomach. Maybe an Alec Bradley SCR or Panacea Black Label Maduro. Your nicotine tolerance may be a little lower and you might get a little nauseous….so no Camacho Triple Maduros!!! ;o)

  9. MadRobusto Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I feel for you brother! I had my last wisdom tooth pulled out last year and it was no picnic! I can recall not smoking and being afraid to light up a cigar until I knew I was completely healed for fear of the harm it would have on me. I'm not sure which cigar I lit up first back then. Knowing myself I stuck to my own rule of thumb and probably went mild/medium. And my suggestion to you is, I would celebrate with an Ashton Classic, that's one great cigar to help segue yourself back into a smooth transition of instant gratification!

  10. JED Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    It's funny you mention this, because I had 2 of my wisdom teeth honked out last week. Maybe I took a chance, but I smoked the next day. They don't want you using a straw, because, sucking is not good for the blood clot on the bone. But, as far as smoking goes, it's the chemicals in cigarettes that can do harm. As you know, cigars are just tobacco. As long as the cigar has a good draw, you should be fine. Smoke-em if you got-em.

    • Adam Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

      The nicotine in the cigars slows the healing process, granted much less that cigarettes. Unfortunately I know this because it has been about 3 weeks for me without a cigar because of surgery to remove infection and I have another week or so to go. Sucks ass. Anyway, I would go with something mid- range price wise and mild to medium. I always find that after a week or so of not smoking that cigars taste different for some odd reason. No need to smoke a $15 cigar when it doesn't taste right. Anyway my 2 cents.

    • BDM Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 8:56 am #

      What you're saying does not make much sense because a cigar tobacco has just as much chemicals as an American Spirit tobacco, and these chemicals will get absorbed into your bloodstream even though the cigar smoke is not inhaled. It may not be as much but it might still be significant.

      If you are going to smoke after having a tooth extraction at least make sure you don't have a cigar with a tight draw. As an ex-cigarette-smoker I waited almost 2 days before smoking and when I did I made sure I rolled my tobacco very loose.

      If you've had a tooth extraction then you must also be aware that a dry socket is supposed to extremely painful. Play it safe guys!

  11. pat o'boyle Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    How 'bout an Anejo Shark (77)? Special occasion requires a special stogie. Smoke a Shark & you'll be looking for more reasons to celebrate.

  12. Mike Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Get better Bro! The most I ever stopped smoking was 2-3 days while sick. I really enjoy relaxing with a stogie at nighttime. I would suggest a Ashton VSG, LIGA 9 or a nice LFD…