Picture this, you’re kicked back with your best Cuban cigar in hand, lit, and ready for a nice, relaxing smoke session. You’ve begun enjoying your smoke when all of a sudden, you start feeling nauseous. It may even be so bad that your stomach feels like it’s about to eject the last meal you had. Now you find yourself totally put off by the cigar and having to dispose of it earlier than you would’ve liked. For a good number of cigar smokers, veterans inclusive, this scenario has been their reality one or more times, and it is certainly not a pleasant experience.
This phenomenon is known as cigar sickness or cigar nausea. Although experienced cigar smokers are less likely to get cigar sick, many people continue to experience it today regardless. This has sparked the search for the best way to cure cigar sickness, and sources and studies have revealed that the answer is sugar.
What is the Best Way to Cure Cigar Sickness?
The best technique for using sugar to ease cigar nausea is taking a teaspoon of sugar, emptying it on the back of your tongue, and drinking a glass of water to chase it. You’ll find that in minutes, you’ll begin to feel much better after doing this. If you’re diabetic, a sugar‐free sweetener may suffice, but it’s best to consult your doctor before trying this out.
Why Do Cigars Make You Sick?
There are more ways to cure or even completely avoid cigar sickness, but before listing those out, we’ll answer the big question first: why do people get cigar sick? Nausea you get from smoking a cigar is a mild form of nicotine poisoning and although there are no records of it ever being fatal, it still renders large amounts of discomfort to you the smoker. Other symptoms of cigar sickness include headaches, nervousness, dizziness, and increased blood pressure. Most people who get this nausea get it either from their first cigar or from a strong cigar. Here are the reasons why these cigars can make you feel queasy:
1. Too Much Nicotine
A cigar that is too intense for you will spur the bodily reactions of nausea and sickness. A full‐bodied cigar can be quite thrilling to try; however, things will be easier for you if you stick to cigars that your body can handle. Remember: the stronger the tobacco, the higher the amount of nicotine. By ingesting more than what your body can easily handle, you will start to feel ill due to excessive amounts of nicotine.
2. The Tobacco in Your Cigar
tobacco leaves still have traces of pesticides from when they were planted and consequently, can lead to these sickly symptoms. The reason for this is that they have not aged long enough. To avoid these kinds of cigars, choose handmade cigars over machine-made ones.
3. Smoking on an empty stomach
This especially applies to smoking full-bodied cigars and can be worse if you’re doing this paired with an alcoholic beverage. You will find smoking on a full stomach instead helpful in avoiding cigar nausea.
Here is how to cure and effectively avoid cigar sickness
1. Think Mild
Cigars that have mild strength profiles make perfect fits for many beginners. So which cigars are mild? Some cigars that come to mind are the Serie G and the Connecticut Reserve cigars by Oliva Cigars, and the Macanudo café.
The first rule of thumb, if you’re a beginner with cigars, is to avoid anything described as full‐flavored, powerful, or strong. Smoking cigars for beginners is the same as drinking beer. It is best that you start off mild and build up to stronger IPAs and craft beers. The same goes for cigars– you’ll probably find it easier starting out with something light‐bodied and mild‐flavored, and then your taste will begin to accommodate stronger cigars as you go.
There is plenty of very flavorful mild to medium‐bodied cigars out there for you to enjoy. Still, one of the best things about smoking cigars is the process of discovery, so it’s totally fine if you don’t get it right from the get‐go.
2. Avoid Strong Cigars
From number 1, this should almost go without saying, but try not to force yourself to smoke cigars you can’t handle. If you are a beginner, you should gradually work your way up. Start with light to medium strength profiles, and then once you’re comfortable, you can move to the next level of intensity. Some more beginner cigars you should try are the Arturo Fuente 858 Flor Fina, the Romeo y Julieta 1875 Bully, and the Padron 2000 Natural cigar.
3. Make a few changes to how you smoke your cigar
It’s worth noting that the way you smoke a cigar could be the reason why you get a cigar sick.
A mistake that newbies and returning smokers often make is that they try to inhale or swallow the smoke the same way they would smoke a cigarette. Even though they don’t inhale the smoke, they puff and puff and puff to make lots of smoke they can blow out of their mouth. Inhaling or swallowing the smoke will deliver additional nicotine into your system which will lead to imminent cigar sickness. This is a surefire way to make your head spin.
Keep in mind that cigars aren’t cigarettes, so you shouldn’t treat them the same. The key is to puff and release the smoke out of your mouth. Slow down and treat the cigar more like a stick of incense that you keep smoldering by an occasional slow draw–just enough to keep it lit.
Don’t hold your cigar clenched between your teeth for too long unless the nicotine in the smoke will get into your nose through which it will work its way into your bloodstream in excessive amounts that can push you to the onset of cigar nausea.
4. Slow Down
Take your time when smoking cigars. Another common mistake beginner smokers make is that they puff the cigar too quickly. Rapidly smoking the cigar will cause the tobacco leaves to burn at a faster rate, creating a bitter‐tasting cigar and allowing the nicotine to get into your system quickly. As a result, you will start to feel sick.
You shouldn’t puff continuously on your cigar. In fact, you shouldn’t puff your cigar more than once or twice within a minute. This is a big rookie mistake. There’s no hurry, and if you are in a hurry, then leave your cigar for later. Once you begin to feel nauseous, put your cigar down and wait out the queasy feeling for a minute. It will pass eventually and you’ll slowly start to feel better. If you begin to feel dizzy or light-headed, drink a lot of water and find a place to lie down.
Slowing down can also enhance your cigar smoking experience by helping you to feel much more relaxed and allowing you to savor the flavors. It’s advantageous if you have an indoor place to smoke–or at least a sheltered place outdoors that’s free of breeze. This will enable you to have more control over the speed at which your cigar is burning so that you’re not forced into puffing too fast. It also allows you to enjoy the aroma of the “room note”–in pipe smokers’ parlance–of the smoldering cigar.
Another hint: when you knock the ash from your cigar, if the part that stays attached to the cigar has a convex cone shape, that is, the center of the ash is longer than the outer edge near the wrapper, then you’re probably smoking too fast. Variables in ambient temperature and humidity aside, the ideal smoking speed produces squared‐off ash that is flat across the front.
5. Don’t Smoke on an Empty Stomach, Pair Your Cigar with Something
Pairing your cigar with a beverage or a meal is always a good idea. For cigar sickness, this will help raise your blood sugar levels and relieve your symptoms. When in doubt, consume something sweet, either drink or snack. Most importantly, you shouldn’t smoke on an empty stomach. Do not smoke a strong or full-bodied cigar on an empty stomach‐ this is a guaranteed fast route to getting yourself cigar sick.
Taking up all the tips above will certainly help you whenever you are confronted with cigar sickness, or to prevent it generally. Everyone responds to nicotine in different ways, and just like you would in the case of alcohol, it’s best to know your limits when it comes to cigars and try not to overstep them.SHOP CIGARS