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Do Cigars Give you a Buzz

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Non-cigar smokers often view cigars as a “flavor” and “aroma” type of enjoyment. To be fair, there are a lot of cigar smokers out there who only puff on cigars (like you’re supposed to), without inhaling the smoke as a cigarette smoker would do. With that being said, do cigars give you a buzz?

The truth is, a lot of cigar smokers do inhale the smoke, and it’s possible, depending on the size and strength of the cigar, to get a buzz while enjoying one. The buzz is brought on by the nicotine content, which is far more substantial in a cigar than in a cigarette.

Another aspect that separates cigar smokers from cigarette smokers is frequency. Cigar smokers don’t light nearly as often as cigarette smokers. Because of that, cigar smokers are less likely to develop a tolerance to nicotine and will experience a buzz more often.

Do cigars give you a Buzz?

What causes the buzz

Man Smoking a CigarNicotine, plain and simple. Nicotine comes from the tobacco leaf much in the same way that caffeine comes from a coffee bean. While nicotine is the driving force behind the buzz, the size of the cigar makes a difference as well, because of the obvious increase in crushed tobacco leaves within.

Cigar size

For obvious reasons, the bigger the cigar, the heavier the nicotine buzz. However, regardless of the size of the cigar, they are often labeled as mild, medium, and bold. The label makes a difference as well.

If you find a small cigar with a deep, bold flavor, there is probably a load of nicotine content in there and it might give you a buzz easier than a thicker, larger cigar. For the most part, however, the bigger the cigar, the better the overall buzz.

Not everyone inhales

Headley-Grange-Black-LabA vast majority of cigar smokers don’t inhale, which is why the non-cigar public believes that cigars can’t give you a buzz. Of course, if you inhale some of the smoke or accidentally inhale cigar smoke, you’ll certainly get a buzz for that.

When you only puff, only about 10% of the nicotine content is taken in by the body. It might surprise you to know that your mouth absorbs a lot of what you eat and breathe in. So if you have a particularly potent cigar, that 10% will amount to a good deal of nicotine.

Lighter cigars may not have much of an effect unless you inhale some of the smoke with them. Cigars are often very harsh when it comes to inhaling, simply because of the sheer volume of smoke they put out. If you inhale one fully, it often takes two or three breaths to clear the smoke from your lungs.

Do different cigars offer different buzzes?

Man Smoking a CigarDifferent flavors of cigar “might” make the buzz feel a little different. But, for the most part, nicotine is nicotine, and the buzz will be the same. Different cigars can provide a heavier buzz than others, based on their size and the potency of the tobacco leaf.

The major differences you find in cigars are in their flavor and the overall vibe they provide, but the buzz should be the same. Of course, there are certainly a few cigar aficionados out there that would beg to disagree.

But again, nicotine is nicotine, and unless something else is mixed in there with it, you’ll get the same type of buzz.

How long does it last?

Nicotine buzzes are fairly fleeting. If you’ve ever watched a chain smoker burn through a pack of cigarettes in an hour, it’s easy to see how quickly the effects of nicotine wear off. At a maximum, 15 to 20 minutes is how long a nicotine buzz will last.

CAO CigarsIf you’re kicked back on your recliner, steadily puffing on your cigar for half an hour or so, the nicotine buzz will last longer because you are constantly taking it in. Once you are done, the buzz will wear off in 15 minutes or so.

Building a tolerance

Tolerance plays a large role in how long a nicotine buzz will last. Like anything else, the more you take something, the more of a tolerance your body builds up. It’s irritating to speak of nicotine from a good cigar in the same sentence as meth and heroin, but all of these share a trait.

That trait is tolerance over time, and nicotine is a drug, after all. If you smoke a cigar very infrequently, like once a week or so, you won’t have to deal with the tolerance factor. If you smoke every other day, that’s different.

Before long, you will realize that you “want” the cigar and not entirely for the joy of it. You’ll also notice that you don’t get a buzz anymore—you only get the enjoyment of the smoke. The more you smoke for the buzz, the more you will have to smoke in the future.

Bottom Line

While cigars will give you a buzz (sometimes a pretty big buzz), a lot depends on the size of the cigars, the tobacco leaves, whether or not you inhale, and how often you smoke. As with everything in life it seems, nothing is clear cut and dry.

While we certainly don’t recommend inhaling cigar smoke, you should spend more time enjoying the luxury of the flavor and aroma, rather than trying to achieve a fleeting buzz. At the end of the day, there is far more to a good cigar than nicotine.

Cigar cutter Prestige Royal
Dan Stevenson
Dan Stevenson

I have been smoking cigars for 30 years and counting, I started at 18 years old with mild Cubans and worked my way up to medium and now bold. I own 4 humidors, that I try to keep stocked at all times.

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