When it comes to tobacco, smokers — sans the snowman and the Sherlock Holmes’ of the world — typically choose cigarettes or cigars. This results in a tobacco war between the two choices: in a scene straight out of West Side Story, one group claims cigarettes are better and one group counters, declaring the cigar’s superiority. Ashes fly, cigars cry on one another’s shoulders, cigarettes filter out, and items get burned.
To the cigar lover, the items that get burned are cigarettes. Cigar lovers believe their cigars are just better. True cigar lovers typically look at cigarettes with a sense of disdain. To them, a lover of tobacco who smokes a cigarette is like a lover of fine food eating things made in an Easy Bake Oven. Some cigarette lovers may disagree, believing that cigarettes are the best choice of smoke, but other cigarette lovers may simply be intimidated by cigars – scared of a Henry Clay or a La Aurora, they find comfort in a Benson and, of course, a Hedges.
It’s hard to blame these people. Cigars can appear scary, like a stick of tobacco lurking in a bedroom closet, waiting for night to fall. Yet, like so many things, the fear of cigars is unwarranted. People can crush cigars in an ashtray, on a sidewalk, or on a garbage can. For this reason, cigars should be more afraid of people than people are of them.
Once cigars are welcomed into the hearts of tobacco lovers, they will usually find they are not intimidating and are just the opposite. Besides providing luxury, cigars offer a handful of other satisfying avenues, avenues that cigarettes get lost going down. It is because of this that we will now list the top five reasons cigars are better than cigarettes.
1. The Length: Yes, size matters, at least when it comes to tobacco, but size, for the purpose of this argument, isn’t about the physical length of tobacco, it’s about how long it lasts. Cigarettes are short-lived. People often smoke them in ten or fifteen minutes. Cigars, however, last much longer. Smoking is pleasurable and that pleasure is greatly extended when a cigar is ignited.
2. The Sophistication: Sure, cigarettes sometimes look sophisticated, particularly when people smoke them with a cigarette holder ala Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but most of the time, cigars are much more synonymous with sophistication than cigarettes, at least in America. Simply smoking a cigar garners a sense of sophistication, while smoking a cigarette usually requires a prop: a cigarette holder, a top hat, or a monocle.
3. The Variety: I am certain that cigarettes have some sort of variety. If they didn’t, there would be no sense in the several different cigarette brands that exist, but the variety usually consists of certain cigarettes being lighter than others or some having less nicotine than a competing brand. Cigars, on the other hand, instill much more variety. Cigars not only look different, they also smell and taste different – really different. Different cigarette brands taste different, but not to the extent of a cigar. While cigarettes typically don’t travel down the flavor road, cigars do. Different cigars offer extremely different flavors: one cigar may have hints of leather and earth while another one may taste like coffee and chocolate.
4. The Bars: Ah, the cigar bar. Is there any place more welcoming for the seasoned smoker? Cigar Bars are a Mecca for the lover of tobacco, a place they can go for a sense of true luxury. Some Cigar Bars let cigarettes in, welcoming their tobacco-bearing cousins, but true Cigar Bars maintain signs of No (Cigarette) Smoking Allowed. Cigarettes, on the other hand, have no Cigarette Bars to call their own. Well, not unless you count bowling alleys.
5. The Drinks: A lot of cigarette smokers like to couple a smoke with a cup of coffee or an alcoholic drink, but does coupling a cigarette with these types of drink really enhance the experience? If the cigarette has no complementing flavors, probably not. Cigars, on the other hand, go well with drinks. With a variety of flavors, it’s easy to find a cigar that goes well with everything from an espresso to a cognac, from a bottle of scotch to a bottle of wine.
From cigarette smokers to cigar smokers, smokers are on the same side: they all love tobacco. Even so, cigars are a little ahead of their kin: they can’t help themselves; they’re the favorite cousin.