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Commentary: Options for the Cold-Weather Smoker

28 Oct 2013

Aside from our sunshine-advantaged friends in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and the like, winter is a tough time for cigar smokers in the U.S. Unfortunately, winter is coming fast.

Winter SmokingHumidors will require extra attention to keep from becoming too arid. Shipping cigars will become a riskier endeavor. And, worst of all, the wrath of government-imposed smoking bans will hit the hardest as aficionados clamor for rare indoor refuges from the cold.

In the not-too-distant past, back when I was living in Northern Virginia, there was no statewide smoking ban. This freedom resulted in options. Many bars, restaurants, etc. on their own accord were either completely smoke-free or not welcoming of cigars. I always respected that. But I also appreciated the less-numerous venues that catered to cigar smokers. In the winter, they became havens to escape the cold.

What a novel system. People who wanted to smoke or be around smoke could. People who wanted a smoke-free environment could have that, too. Isn’t choice great?

Nowadays, Virginia’s statewide ban prevents the market from dictating the availability of smoke-friendly locales. My current home of Chicago is no different. And chances are, wherever you happen to be reading this from, your national or local government is imposing laws that prevent business owners from catering to your needs. As I see it, your options for the cold winter months are as follows:

Tough it out and smoke outside.
— Severely limit your smoking to fewer cigars and/or smaller cigars.
— Purchase a paid membership at a club that allows indoor smoking.
— Smoke at a tobacconist (cigars you purchased at said tobacconist).
— Equip some portion of your home for smoking.

I’ve done the latter, though I still regret the fact that I had to do the latter. I lament that gone are the days when you could cozy up to the bar at a steakhouse for an after-dinner smoke. I hang my head because I know there are destinations in my neighborhood that would allow cigar smoking if the government didn’t prevent them from doing so. I assume you share these concerns.

So what are your plans for the winter?

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

6 Responses to “Commentary: Options for the Cold-Weather Smoker”

  1. Andy Monday, October 28, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    In the winter I'm usually relegated to short sticks or just going over to the cigar shop, buying a single, and smoking it there. I smoke a lot less in the winter. Here in MN it gets cold.

  2. Jason C Monday, October 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    I will tough it out and smoke outside from time to time. When the temperature drops below freezing it takes a lot of the enjoyment out of a cigar. There will be a few days set aside to hang out at a B&M however.

    That is a tasty looking Proto. I am looking forward to this years additions!

  3. Cigarkingtexas Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    Lucky me, i am allowed to smoke pipes inside during the winter, and our city has some great smoke shops to hang out with great selections. Push comes to shove my silverado has music, whisky, cigar boxes and lots of heat.

  4. Dan Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    I live in Canada .. sometimes the garage is my cigar lounge 🙂

  5. jrl Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Ah, just another advantage of relocating to the Philippines — no winter.

  6. Teczun Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    Consider a return to Northern Va. Patrick; though most venues are smoke free. A provision of the law, (separate ventilation system), allows many businesses to cater to cigar lovers in Va. I frequent a few of them. However, I smoke 10-15 a wk, so I've equipped my home with a smoking/football lounge, my garage. Honestly, I quite prefer it. A large screen t.v., a small radiant heater keeps me warm, the beer cheaper, the scotch significantly cheaper and I don't have to worry about po-po pulling me over at the end of the night 🙂