Comparing Cigars with Cigarettes
Both made using tobacco leaves, Cuban Cigars and cigarettes, although they share a few similarities, they are widely considered as antagonistic products. What is it that make these two tobacco-based products so distinctively different you might wonder? From physical characteristics to cultural ones, there is a number of differences that manage to separate cigars from cigarettes. Without any further ado, in today's blog we take a look at all the various factors and elements that manage to differentiate cigars from cigarettes.
"CIGARS ARE ENTIRELY MADE FROM TOBACCO AS CIGARETTES ARE NOT"
FORM AND SHAPE - First and foremost, the difference that stands out just by looking at these two products is physical appearance. Although relatively longer and thicker than an average cigarette, cigar formats vary in terms of shape and size, from the small yet mighty Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas to the slim and light in flavours Por Larranaga Montecarlo Cigar. But that's not all the physical characteristics that define each product. Another physical difference between the two items is related to the materials used for their manufacture. That been said, while Cuban sticks are entirely handmade using high-quality tobacco leaves, cigarettes typically contain shredded tobacco leaves, leaf stems and are wrapped in paper.
"A CIGAR'S SMOKE SHOULD NOT BE DRAWN TO THE LUNGS"
THE WAY THEY ARE SMOKED - Besides their physical differences, cigars and cigarettes have nothing in common when it comes to the way they are smoked. Cigarettes are ready to be lit and smoked once taken out of their package. However, cigars require a certain procedure to be followed by the smoker before being enjoyed. To elaborate, the cap needs to be either removed or opened in order for the smoke to be drawn through the mouth. In addition, lighting a cigar is more complicated than a cigarette. The foot of the cigar should be lightly toasted with the flame of your Dupont Lighter gently touching the end of your smoke.
The ritual of smoking a cigar is very different from the process of smoking a cigarette. While the smoke of the cigarette is meant to be inhaled and drew all the way into your lungs, the smoke of the cigar should remain inside the mouth and then exhaled, as the levels of nicotine in, let's say, a Cohiba Lanceros are too strong to be inhaled. That, also, leads up to present another interesting difference between the two. A cigarette has a filter, while a cigar doesn't as it's smoke is not meant to be inhaled.
"A CHARACTERISTIC THAT AVERAGE CIGARETTES LACK"
SMOKING RITUAL - To begin with, as we have discussed above, a cigar is bigger and, thus, contains significantly more nicotine. To specify, a cigar contains approximately 100mg to 200mg of nicotine, while a cigarette has only 10mg of nicotine. As a result, the time required for each product to be properly smoked varies. While the average time to smoke a cigarette is 6 minutes, a fine cigar, such as the Cohiba Esplendidos, takes approximately one hour, if you pace yourself.
PRICE AND WORTH - It is not just the size, shape or quality that differentiates cigars from cigarettes. Price, worth, and age value constitute another primary factor. Since cigars are made using more tobacco than cigarettes, it is only fair to say that their price will be relatively higher. In addition, Cuban cigars are entirely handmade by experienced torcedores who spent their days rolling tobacco leaves, as the majority of cigarettes are machine-made products. Another factor that helps determine the worth of both cigars and cigarettes is their value. That is to say, Cuban cigars, if properly stored and retained, tend to rise in value, as the product becomes both rare in numbers and vintage in quality, a characteristic that average cigarettes lack.
CULTURE - Of course, the ritual of smoking Cigars is one of the most sophisticated acts in the world. From the cigar's aromas to the elegant and graceful process of enjoying a habano, cigars are widely known as an instrument of high esteem and opulent lifestyle. On the other hand, cigarettes, although smoked more than cigars, fell short when it comes to transcending the smoker into a different type of a lifestyle.
Left: Ramon Allones Small Club Coronas Cigar, Right: Por Larranaga Montecarlo Cigar.
Although both products are made using tobacco leaves, Cuban cigars and cigarettes seem to share more differences than similarities. From their physical appearance to their cultural heritage, Cuban cigars have established themselves as a ritual of high esteem and opulence. Discover everything there is to know about the fascinating world of habanos from our daily updated Cuban Cigars Blog: