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Okay, now what?

I quit smoking twenty one years ago this month. I was a very heavy smoker, but I kicked it on the first try and never once cheated in all the years since. I tell you what, though, I’ve craved a cigarette every damn day of my miserable life since.

Years ago, I read something Jonah Goldberg wrote (it was probably just an entry in The Corner) about how he could smoke the occasional cigar and it didn’t kick off his cigarette cravings. I’ve wanted to try it ever since. I decided I was going to do it for my birthday this year.

Couldn’t find one for my birthday. I’ve asked at the tobacco counter at several supermarkets, but all they had were those little ones that are basically brown cigarettes. When we were in Waitrose Sunday (see above), I thought they were just the kind of place to have a decent cigar.

And they were. I guess. What do I know from a decent cigar? They certainly had a number of very expensive ones. This one set me back £12. I actually had a pang of horror when I got it home and realized IT’S A CUBAN CIGAR. Are those still illegal in the States? I feel very naughty.

Haven’t smoked it yet. I’m not sure I even know how. Uncle B says he’ll lock me out of the house if I smell of cigar. He’s kind of pissed off at me for buying it, to be honest.


Comment from BJM
Time: May 29, 2018, 8:31 pm

Same here, I quit the day Mt. St. Helen’s blew…figured it would be easy to remember. I still crave a smoke with morning coffee and especially after a nice dinner out with a rich chocolate dessert. Ack!

One can break the habit of smoking, but nicotine addiction, apparently, is forever.

About 15 years ago whilst on vacation in Mexico I tried smoking a Cuban cigar…two or three puffs and I had to hurl. Enjoy the aroma, roll it around in your fingers, admire the technique…but forgettabout smoking it.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 29, 2018, 8:32 pm

You’re aiming for the Jimmy Savile look?

PS: Regarding Cubans, I think it is not illegal to possess them in the US but illegal to import/sell them in the US.

PPS: Does it say in fine print that it was rolled on a virgin’s thigh?

Comment from OldFert
Time: May 29, 2018, 8:47 pm

How to smoke a cigar?

Comment from gromulin
Time: May 29, 2018, 9:10 pm

A Monte Petit Tubo is a solid choice, keeps them at the right humidity. Get a proper cutter, clip the cap off and enjoy! If you can get real Cohibas, they are a whole different level. Like smoking a piece of chocolate.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 29, 2018, 9:25 pm

Should a weasel have offered a badger a Tiparillo?
Uncle B is miffed perhaps because you didn’t buy him one.

Sit outside, around a nice fire – have some whiskey.
Your weather looks all wrong for a nice fire, but a chill evening, a cigar, some whiskey, and good company. Hard act to follow.

You can’t go by me Uncle B. I used to smoke cigars in the car on the way to work just so I could get back in the car at the end of the day and remember “my dad’s car” from the smell. I’m that way, your mileage may vary. Cigar smells were (and still are, except for the infamous date rape cigar incident…) good memories for me (I got to wear the paper cigar band!)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 29, 2018, 9:37 pm

Actually, we sat around the fire bowl (a birthday present) last night and shared a bottle of wine. I suggested the cigar, but got the stink-eye.

I’m going to have to sneak off like a kid and smoke behind the house.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 29, 2018, 9:54 pm

Should a weasel have offered a badger a Tiparillo?

Maybe, if stoaty dressed like Edie Adams?

Comment from gromulin
Time: May 29, 2018, 10:44 pm

Just stay down wind, and take a shower after (speaking from experience) and leave your jacket/coat outside. The idea of a old timey Smoking Jacket was well thought out…it gets on your upper clothes.

And YES. Single malt, or a liqueur like Benedictine, is muy bueno.

Comment from Jeff Weimer
Time: May 29, 2018, 11:25 pm

Cubans are shit. Communism has left them exactly where they were the day Batista died, maybe even worse quality-wise.

Dominicans, OTOH, are sublime. Capitalism really *does* make things better.

Comment from Weaseltablet3
Time: May 29, 2018, 11:26 pm

Do I have to have a real cigar cutter, grom? Can I use surgical scissors or a razor or something? I probably won’t repeat this experiment.

Also, do you cut off the whole end or just a little hole or is it personal preference or what?

Comment from Weaseltablet3
Time: May 29, 2018, 11:50 pm

Awesome, ric fan.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 30, 2018, 12:16 am

I quit smoking 6 years ago…sometimes I dream about puffing on a cigar and it gets me started again. You should toss it. If you’re still wanting a cigarette every day then you’re still vulnerable.

I don’t miss it and can’t stand the smell of any kind of smoke.

Comment from fuloydo
Time: May 30, 2018, 1:44 am

Love my cigars. I had a Cuban once, so I was told, who knows, and it was nice. Chocolate, coffee, nice after taste.

I never smoked ciggs so don’t have that habit but I did use smokeless tobacco for almost 30 yrs and that is a bear of a habit to break.

As for habit… I like my cigars but I don’t experience the ‘gotta have one’ like I did with the dip. I can go days between them without feeling deprived. No idea how this works with someone who smoked ciggs but that’s my experience for all it’s worth.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: May 30, 2018, 1:50 am

Well, well well. A subject that I can claim to know something about. Having $pent the better part of the last 25 years smoking some of the best and worst cigars ever rolled I can say your little smoke should be a very fine experience. However, without a companion to share in that experience I dare say you’ll be missing out on the true joy that is a good puff. Depending on ring size your experience can last upwards of 40 minutes…a time that should be exalted for the glorious me time a good smoke always provides. If you can find a little pub that is cigar friendly I would urge you to saunter in and turn a head or two by plopping down into an over stuffed wing back and light yourself up. I concur with Romulin that a quality aperitif or single malt should serve to moisten your tongue as the cigar works its magic. What ever happens next is why cigar smoking is a delicious vice.

Comment from thefritz
Time: May 30, 2018, 1:52 am

I could remain anonymous but I cherish the art of the smoke too much. Maybe Dick winners can start receiving a cigar when they win?

Comment from p2
Time: May 30, 2018, 1:57 am

as for the single malt….if you’ve not acquired the palate… may i suggest one of the lowland ladies. smooth, easy, and a good first timer. and by all means, a glencairn glass. pay extra for the glass and the ashtray… smash both at the end for they should not be sullied by being used for a lesser experience than the first time.

Comment from thefritz
Time: May 30, 2018, 2:00 am

btw… I concur with Jeff Weimer. The Cuban cigar myth is just that. The Dominican Rep. and Nicaragua have long since crafted a superior product albeit based on the original Cubano seeds. Montecristo originated on Cuba but after the Revolution enough seed and expertise fled to create the #1 selling hand rolled cigar in the world.

Comment from p2
Time: May 30, 2018, 2:01 am

may as well ship a box to carl……😀😀😀😀

Comment from thefritz
Time: May 30, 2018, 2:11 am

Weaseltablet3: the cut depends on the cigar. If you are smoking a long-leaf filler cigar a little nip that leaves 50% of the diameter open is perfect. If you are smoking a cut-filler cigar I would use a plug cutter. It makes an adequate hole in the center of the butt that keeps loose tobacco bits to a minimum. If you are riding a Palomino bareback in the New Mexico desert you are allowed to chew off the end, spit it onto a cactus and ride off into the sunset….

Comment from gromulin
Time: May 30, 2018, 2:56 am

Wease – a new cheap plastic likker-store cutter is fine. As long as it’s sharp and you decapitate quickly. Aim for mid-cap. You don’t want to use scissors, they usually crush the tip.

I really miss my cigars. Only a few times a year now. Vegas, car shows, etc. People are anti-smoke nazis around here. They are trying to outlaw wood burning completely.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 30, 2018, 12:10 pm

Heh – this is the right place to be. Yes indeed.

Now we just need to try and convince Uncle B it’s all good.

And single malts, ah, how wonderful those were to discover after the cheap blends that wandered unbidden into the familial homestead to take up residence above the oven.
The old man wasn’t a whiskey drinker so someone had to get rid of that stuff you know.
Anyone who can’t taste the difference should stick with a lesser form of libation, like, say, old Nastygansett Beer.

Comment from Rebecca the Possum
Time: May 30, 2018, 1:16 pm

Longtime lurker, first time commenting. Please no. Lost my father-in-law to lung/liver cancer 25 years ago in June. A bad way to go. He was only 66. He started smoking at age 12 and quit smoking the day he was diagnosed. My parents quit in the 1980s and are still going strong. Smell it, carry it around, but don’t give in!

Spend money on cats and chickens instead!

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: May 30, 2018, 2:02 pm

I’ve never smoked cigarettes — and it’s a miracle, considering my mother smoked, as did a lot of my fictional boyhood heroes like James Bond and Ellery Queen. I just never had the urge to try it, I guess. Pipes, now, I smoked briars maybe once a week or so during the Eighties. I gave it up when the Nicotine Nazis started decreeing that you couldn’t smoke in restaurants, etc. Plus, 10 months of the year here, it’s too hot to wear a jacket to carry the pipe and pouch and lighter in. I gave them up without a qualm.

NB: I have the true addictive personality. If I’d started with cigarettes, I know I’d have had a hard time kicking them. Maybe your cigar should just be for sniffing and enjoying without lighting up.

I still have the pipes. Gorgeous wood and construction. I need to start up a store on eBay and try to sell ’em.

Comment from Jon
Time: May 30, 2018, 4:20 pm

Smoked cigarettes in my stupid 20’s, finally quit after running out of places to smoke. I still enjoy a cigar every so often, maybe one a year but it’s ok if I miss it for a few. Make sure it’s cut properly, take your time smoking it. Cigarettes I always felt in a hurry to smoke.

Like booze, there are different kind of cigars for every taste. I’m sorry it’s difficult for you to find them, but I hope there’s a way. (I was going to say “I’m sure” but the latest kerfuffle about speech rights in Britain for the arrested reporter has me doubting that.)

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 30, 2018, 4:24 pm

Also, do you cut off the whole end or just a little hole or is it personal preference or what?

You make it sound like a circumcision. lol

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 30, 2018, 4:32 pm

There is a 2 part doc by Imagine about Cuba. They repeat a lot of propaganda but later refute it by showing how horrible the conditions are. Still, they dont rebut it completely, e.g. medical care. I dont think most Cuban docs could pass a medical exam to qualify in South American countries let alone the US. So, that free heart surgery may just kill you. Also, they are very hard on Trump, failing to point out that Trump is trying to get the Cubans to agree to improve their dismal human rights record. Plus, zapping our diplomats brains is a deal killer, too.

On the plus side, they did show a cigar factory. Unfortunately, none of the women looked like virgins. They did puff on cigars while working.

ps: One guy said the goal was to do away with the middle class — that they wanted everyone poor. But not everyone is poor. The Castro family is pretty damn rich as are his cronies.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 30, 2018, 6:06 pm

Please don’t worry, Rebecca. I’m far more likely to get a dose of something nasty from our regular wood fires than a cigar every twenty years.

Trying to ban wood fires here, too. I think the farmers would rise up and burn Westminster to the ground.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 30, 2018, 6:32 pm

And what also burns apart from Witches?

More witches! (whack)

Uh, wood?

Good! And so if Westminster burns…

It must be….must be made of….of wood?

Very good! And is therefore?


Comment from TwoDogs
Time: May 31, 2018, 12:59 am

I smoked menthol cigs for 30some years and quit in 2002. Cigars or even non-menthol cigs never scratched the itch. But I’ll never tempt that monster again. I’m well past the every day crave, but every now and then a certain situation will come up or I’ll get a good whiff of secondhand smoke and almost swoon. But no. Never, never, never again. Life as a nicotine addict sucked.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: May 31, 2018, 2:13 am

Ah, cigarettes – filthy little buggers. Everybody in my family smoked and I started around 14 – 15. Funny though, I count Huckleberry Finn as my primary Bad Influence. Ah, and Tom Sawyer too! I kid you not, my first real smoke was from a corn cob pipe.

I quit nearly 20 years ago and don’t miss it a bit. It was very, very hard though so I don’t tempt myself with any tobacco form.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: May 31, 2018, 2:36 am

I have this problem with sugar. It’s why I don’t drink or smoke or anything else addictive. I’ve seen how hard it is for me to cut SUGAR, for crying out loud. No way I am getting near anything else addictive.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 31, 2018, 3:22 pm

@Mrs. Peel
” No way I am getting near anything else addictive.”

You mean of course, apart from this place.

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