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O/T: HEALTH The Dangers of Cigar Smoking... Concerned? Overblown?

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If you smoke cigars, how many do you smoke?

  • 1 a day (daily)

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • 1 a week

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • 1 every few weeks

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • 1 a month

    Votes: 5 29.4%
  • 2-3 per week

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • 10+ per month

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    17

MJ DeMarco

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Here's another thread for the cigar smokers...


I love to smoke cigars. While I tend to like the cheapos, I've been dabbling in some better ones as of late.

Anyway, this thread is about the HEALTH RISKS of cigar smoking...

Are you concerned?
How many do you smoke a day?
Is there anything you can do that will make you stop?

And just today, I checked in to the forum's CV19 main thread (first time in weeks) and the most interesting thing I found was @Trevor Kuntz 's post about his uncle. Trevor can you tell us that story if it isn't too personal or gut wrenching?

I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.
 

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Kak

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Two a week here. I don't really have much of a concern. It is not even close to as bad as cigarettes or chew, but it certainly isn't good for you. I do chew the hell out of nicotine gum. I am probably more into the gum than I am the cigars.

I am also basically a nondrinker. Maybe 10 drinks a year. I like to think that cancels it out. ;)
 

eliquid

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There is anorther cigar thread on here somewhere where people posted pics too.

Anyways, I buy as I smoke. I don't drink.

Only smoke cigars.

I prob. smoke 1 every 2 weeks.

However, if I buy 3-4 at a time I might smoke 1 a day or every other day until I am out and then not have another until 2-3 more weeks go by, if that.

I'm in my 40's now. Not that I am concerned because of age, but I didn't smoke anything at all until my late 30's and it's always been cigars. Again, I know this isn't right mindset, but I tell myself it's not like I started smoking cigs at 18 and been smoking a whole pack every day since.
 

eliquid

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BTW, you just reminded me I have one left over from last week...

 

Trevor Kuntz

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Here's another thread for the cigar smokers...


I love to smoke cigars. While I tend to like the cheapos, I've been dabbling in some better ones as of late.

Anyway, this thread is about the HEALTH RISKS of cigar smoking...

Are you concerned?
How many do you smoke a day?
Is there anything you can do that will make you stop?

And just today, I checked in to the forum's CV19 main thread (first time in weeks) and the most interesting thing I found was @Trevor Kuntz 's post about his uncle. Trevor can you tell us that story if it isn't too personal or gut wrenching?

I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.
Sure, MJ, I don't mind sharing.

To clarify, it was my grandfather, and not my uncle. Nevertheless, he was truly the coolest guy I have ever known. Like many Boomers, he smoked cigarettes and cigars in his adult years. He preferred the latter and mostly smoked during bi-weekly poker games. He quit cold-turkey when I was born. He was 47 when he quit.

In June 2007, his dentist noticed an abnormality during a checkup (another reason to go to the dentist) and he went in to get xrays. The radiologist f*cked up and mixed up my grandfather's x-ray with another patient's xray (there were lawsuits about this later) and my grandfather thought everything was fine. Had the cancer been found then, the outcome may have been different.

In late October 2007, physical signs of the cancer were beginning to present. X-rays then showed that the cancer had already moved from his jaw into his neck and had wrapped around his carotid arteries, which made effective treatment impossible. I was 15, my siblings were 12 and 10. By Christmas, he had already lost 30 lbs.

The mass on his jaw never stopped expanding. By January, he could not speak and a tracheotomy was performed. After that, his food - nutrition shakes - was administered through a tube. He was able to communicate only by writing on a notepad and he and my mom corresponded for hours a day for months. I think she still has all of the writings. He expressed a lot of regrets about smoking, especially that he never thought about his future grandkids when he smoked.

For the last two months, fluids oozed constantly out of the tumor in his jaw/neck. At some point, they had to remove part of his tongue. I don't know how big the actual tumor was, but the bulbous mass of fluid on the side of his jaw was at least the size of a large grapefruit. He could only sleep on one side and his morphine doses increased gradually until death. The slow death sucked, but both he and my mom were glad that they could communicate for a few months while knowing the end was coming.

By the time he died in April 2008, the couch where he had laid for the last 4 months of his life was covered in blood. He had lost 100 lbs over those months and had not physically eaten or talked during that time. He didn't get to do any woodworking in his shop or go fishing or drive his classic cars, he just had to wait for death and when death came, he finally returned to his favorite place in the world, Woods Canyon Lake, Arizona.

I truly wish that he had never smoked and I will never smoke anything as long as I live.

Sorry for the long post. I also wrote a post a couple years ago about his death and my (lack of) response to it. Took a long time for me to process his death.
 
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socaldude

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I loved cigars and cigarettes too.

But, it was also the most detrimental to my health. Its the number one thing that messed up my health. My skin, my blood pressure. I recently stopped after i notice my single kidney would hurt after i smoked.

My dad, also a baby boomer smokes 1-2 packs a day. So far hes alright but he takes like 5 different meds. Makes me sad how this might turn out.
 

ChrisV

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The Dangers Of Cigar Smoking... Concerned? Overblown?


I used to smoke cigars regularly. It's not good for you.

I think that cigars are best when enjoyed on special occasions.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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I have a question for cigar smokers:

Why do you smoke them?

Perhaps include how you got into cigar smoking too.

I have some theories, but I don't want to put words into your mouths, just cigars.

"Cubans, longer & more satisfying than a Castro speech."
Sorry, couldn't resist
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Why do you smoke them?

For me, smoking them has become some sort of meditation, a peace, and time to sit back relax and be gratitious for the awesome life I have. While I do that normally throughout the week, the cigar sort of memorializes the process, kinda like the CAKE at the birthday party.
 

WabiSabi

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I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.

"If you tell me you want to be healthy, but you've got Doritos dust on your fingers, I'm believing the Doritos". - Darren Hardy

The chances of developing oral cancer through cigars seems pretty low, seems more likely that permanent/ chronic lung disease is a much bigger risk factor. The cancer angle is overblown, but burning plant material isn't good for your lungs period.

In terms of cancer, its seems the degree to which you are susceptible is heavily influenced by genetics. My great-grandfather died of lung disease in his 30's, but I've also heard of people living well into their 90's smoking.

No amount of rational evidence will convince an addict to give up his stash, nicotine brainwashes you (pun intended) into getting your fix. I think you guys are making a mistake smoking, but I respect your choice.
 

Andy Black

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For me, smoking them has become some sort of meditation, a peace, and time to sit back relax and be gratitious for the awesome life I have. While I do that normally throughout the week, the cigar sort of memorializes the process, kinda like the CAKE at the birthday party.
I love the imagery. It reminds me of when everyone has gone to bed and I get to sit on the garden bench with a cup of tea.
 

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GPM

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sit on the garden bench with a cup of tea.
Lol Andy, you are so wholesome!


I am actually super jealous that I don't have a garden bench to drink tea on. I rate my backyard a 2/10 (at least I have one I guess, it is better than my old apartment balcony thingy)
 

Siddhartha

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I won't defend cigars at all since I personally believe tobacco is the devil (especially with radium in the crops now).

BUT, as pointed out by some, it may be a semi-effective way to promote hormesis, like with eating green salads, drinking coffee, or drinking red wine. It's been a long time since I read into it and I don't have my notes anymore, but I'll link this semi-relevant write-up Dennis Mangan did about a 107 year old 4-10 cigar and 4 shot of whiskey a day veteran:

People mentioned cigars promoting oral issues for friends or family, my first question to them: How was their dental health already, did they have periodontitis or caries? Was their diet filled with sugars and seed oils?
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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Apparently I’m in a rambly mood...

I think it’s the cool points boost you get (just in your own mind) when you smoke that makes smoking so addictive.

I smoked almost two packs a day from 16-25. I’ve smoked cigars and used a pipe. Then I quit for ten or so years, hit a tsunami of stress and started smoking again, for maybe a year off and on. Then I switched to a bunch of gum. lol. Then, I quit when I realized that the gum really didn’t do anything for me and smelling like cigarettes is disgusting.

It was the defiance that made me happy. Hard to explain but.. I think most smokers have a part of them that really loves being a bit of a badass rockstar. Then we grow up, have kids, work hard.. blah blah blah.. and we can’t be our crazy defiant rule-breaking a**hole selves anymore. But we can still, for five minutes at a time, be a rebel. When I found other activities that gave me that “rebel” boost I felt good. So for me, lifting weights or jiu jitsu or buying a new car or spending an ungodly amount of money on my hair all gave me a boost. It was like “Ha. f*ck it.”

As an aside, this is used in marketing as well. It’s the pull of prestige. Starbucks has mastered it. People feel cool AND rich when they buy at Starbucks. Unlike a little local coffee shop where the “poor hippies” go. Then Starbucks got too big and it’s reversing. Now it’s cooler to go to an Indie rebel organic coffee shop than it is to support a giant company.

Anyhoo, for me it was an identity type thing. Am I a rockstar rebel outlier, pissed off at the world, defying social norms? Or am I maybe someone else who likes working out and being healthy? I think most smokers prefer being cool, at least to themselves, over being healthy.

I think most proactive people tend to identify/enjoy certain archetypes - Rockstar, Scholar, Sporty, Comedian- and then we kinda just keep following that mold until someone or something else comes along and presents a better one.

Reactive people try on different archetypes until they meet resistance from family members or social groups. Then they crumble and hide.

This is why stories are so valuable. I’ll never say I enjoy Ayn Rand’s writing BUT her books are the only fiction I know of where the truly rich, empire builders, are the protagonists. They’re the cool ones.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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I won't defend cigars at all since I personally believe tobacco is the devil (especially with radium in the crops now).

BUT, as pointed out by some, it may be a semi-effective way to promote hormesis, like with eating green salads, drinking coffee, or drinking red wine. It's been a long time since I read into it and I don't have my notes anymore, but I'll link this semi-relevant write-up Dennis Mangan did about a 107 year old 4-10 cigar and 4 shot of whiskey a day veteran:

People mentioned cigars promoting oral issues for friends or family, my first question to them: How was their dental health already, did they have periodontitis or caries? Was their diet filled with sugars and seed oils?
Many years ago on the news in HK there was a short segment on a very old Thai master that said smoking was exercise for the lungs.

You can't go against ancient Eastern wisdom.
 

Trevor Kuntz

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"If you tell me you want to be healthy, but you've got Doritos dust on your fingers, I'm believing the Doritos". - Darren Hardy

The chances of developing oral cancer through cigars seems pretty low, seems more likely that permanent/ chronic lung disease is a much bigger risk factor. The cancer angle is overblown, but burning plant material isn't good for your lungs period.

In terms of cancer, its seems the degree to which you are susceptible is heavily influenced by genetics. My great-grandfather died of lung disease in his 30's, but I've also heard of people living well into their 90's smoking.

No amount of rational evidence will convince an addict to give up his stash, nicotine brainwashes you (pun intended) into getting your fix. I think you guys are making a mistake smoking, but I respect your choice.
Yes, genetics and other factors are the wild card. In the example of my grandfather that MJ originally referred to, I can say that he PROBABLY would not have gotten oral/jaw cancer without smoking, but he could have easily have died the next year of another cancer completely unrelated to smoking. Not smoking doesn’t ensure lifespan, it just minimizes one risk factor among many.

@Primeperiwinkle notes that smoking is a part of many archetypes and there is some truth to that. Many of my author friends smoke because the writers they connect with also smoked, health effects be damned.

To me, smoking is the opposite of cool because the only people who smoked in my formative years were old, had terrible quality of life, and their smoking additions directly contributed to their poor quality of life. I see a cigar or cigarette and my mind goes to COPD, oxygen tanks, nasal cannulas, that big a$$ tumor on my Pop’s face, etc. Nothing sexy or cool about that.

Whether you smoke or not really come down to your personal risk assessment (same with unprotected sex, potential virus exposure, etc) and what you gain from that lifestyle/habit.

My lifestyle is increasingly being grounded by what Peter Attia refers to as the centenarian olympics.

The idea: imagine that you live to be 90 or 100. Short of a debilitating car accident, what do you want to be able to do at that age? It could be walking a certain distance up a flight of stairs and back down, being able to do a certain movement safely (like a 30 lb squat), etc and working backwards from there to how you live your life today.

The simplified equation for the process is that if you want to do X at age 90, then you will need to be able to do X*3 at age 70 and X*7 at 50 and X*10 at 30, and so on, in order to maintain a high quality of life over the full course of your life.

For me, smoking will not help me reach my goals in the centenarian Olympics.

More details can be found in this Tim Ferris podcast about longevity and long-term health (interview with Peter Attia)
 
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kylemschmitz

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Here's another thread for the cigar smokers...


I love to smoke cigars. While I tend to like the cheapos, I've been dabbling in some better ones as of late.

Anyway, this thread is about the HEALTH RISKS of cigar smoking...

Are you concerned?
How many do you smoke a day?
Is there anything you can do that will make you stop?

And just today, I checked in to the forum's CV19 main thread (first time in weeks) and the most interesting thing I found was @Trevor Kuntz 's post about his uncle. Trevor can you tell us that story if it isn't too personal or gut wrenching?

I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.

While I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, I'm a big fan of cigars and pipe tobacco. I also don't inhale the smoke into my lungs like a cigarette smoker would.

I read a study once that stated folks who smoked 2-4 bowls of pipe tobacco per day were likely to live longer than both those who smoked more or less.

And then there's this guy, smoking 10 stogies a day at 109 years old:
View: https://youtu.be/BXyfCGDnuWs


It seems to me that stress is the bigger killer – perhaps the biggest killer of all.

For me, smoking a cigar or pipe certainly has that calming, stress-reducing, reflective effect. It's a ritual, a rite. And I usually pair it with a good book, good friend, or good views – sometimes all three.

So, I'm betting on stress vs smoking as the chief assassin.

And anyway, if we are constantly given over to worrying about what might kill us, is that really any way to truly live?

“But that's the whole aim of civilization: to make everything a source of enjoyment.” ― Leo Tolstoy
 

Vigilante

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As the co-owner with @Kak of a cigar humidor company (www.cigarcityhumidors.com) I can tell you that this is a hobby that is regaining momentum in the United States and worldwide. It waned for a bit around 1990, but then started picking up again, bucking the trend of tobacco sales overall which are way down. Premium cigar sales are increasing at somewhere around 5% CAGR.

I don't smoke them daily, preferring less frequent but better quality cigars. I would never propose that they are good for you (they aren't) but there is a certain zen when you intentionally have to slow life down for an hour or so to enjoy a great cigar. You don't speed smoke a cigar like a cigarette addict who needs their next hit.

Cigars have been around since at least the 10th century. Great men through history were cigar aficionados, like Winston Churchill who lived to the ripe old age of 90. They may kill you, but mostly kill you slower.

Rush Limbaugh may have a different opinion on the subject than he did a few years ago. It's NOT a "safe" alternative to cigarette smoking.

BTW if you want one of our humidors and want it shipped internationally, we'd have to figure that out. We do free shipping in the USA, and the most popular model is this one :

 

ChrisV

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While I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, I'm a big fan of cigars and pipe tobacco. I also don't inhale the smoke into my lungs like a cigarette smoker would.
Pipe tobacco is fun. There are so many different flavors.

Although there are some great DR smokes, I still like legit Cubans. Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta - but they’re obviously hard to find. I have a great site that I use for cuban and hard-to-find cigars, La Casa del Tabaco.

F8188DC3-FC51-4145-9271-1E0DBA703F78.jpeg

They’re great. Fast delivery, everything.
 

PapaGang

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Here's another thread for the cigar smokers...


I love to smoke cigars. While I tend to like the cheapos, I've been dabbling in some better ones as of late.

Anyway, this thread is about the HEALTH RISKS of cigar smoking...

Are you concerned?
How many do you smoke a day?
Is there anything you can do that will make you stop?

And just today, I checked in to the forum's CV19 main thread (first time in weeks) and the most interesting thing I found was @Trevor Kuntz 's post about his uncle. Trevor can you tell us that story if it isn't too personal or gut wrenching?

I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.
I just started. And I am well aware of the risks, but I just had my first Punch Clasico the other day and I absolutely loved it. Right now I'm enjoying a lovely Oliva Connecticut, and it's so great.

I'm scared I will become a three a week type of person if I don't become vigilant.

My dad died of lung cancer, so I am really, really aware of the risks. However, I believe three or four cigars a year shouldn't affect me the same as 2 packs a day like my old man. This sounds ludicrous even as I type it.

But damn, they are relaxing, promote idea generation, and allow me to slow down a bit and enjoy my accomplishments.

But I'm not fooling myself here, cigars pose serious health risks. I'm willing to take that risk as long as I can mitigate it and keep the risk within acceptable standards for myself.
 

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TonyStark

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My dad still smokes cigarettes habitually, since he was 20.

I started a few years ago but I can barely get through 1-2 packs a month by myself.

I do use a Juul which I find has helped tremendously in the addiction/cravings.

I can’t see smoking a cigar every now and then as being bad for your health.
 

PapaGang

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I just found these tidbits that I'll share. The data from the FDA show a "key epidemiology principle: the level of risk is related to the level of exposure."

From what I've read—and I just skimmed for 10 minutes here—is that if you smoke 1 per day or less your risk is pretty low, according to their own risk table, shown here: Systematic review of cigar smoking and all cause and smoking related mortality

Article 1: FDA Study: Cancer risks nearly nil for 1-2 cigars per day - R Street
(note: I don't agree with that article title - there is some elevated (and significant for me) oral and larynx cancer risks with 1-2 per day, with a risk factor of 2 to 4 -- no risk = 1)

Public health report, with a bunch of tables:

My take upon reviewing the data: smoking one cigar a week or less poses a minimal risk.

I will still aim for one per quarter, or on special occasions. Because I love the stress relief and the ritual.

And because I love God, America, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
 
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I love cigars.
Love them.
It isn't just about the cigar, it is the relaxation at the end of the day when I sit out on my porch and relax.
R-e-l-a-x.
I run multiple businesses. And it can be very stressful at times. Right now, I have 3 employees in quarantine. One tested positive.
There are worse things that we are currently dealing with than having a cigar at the end of the day.
And that brings up when I started and how much I smoke.

I smoked my first cigar at a Beer and Pancakes meetup in Houston, TX when @Kak offered me one.

Never smoked one in my life before that.
Now I it has become a ritual in the summertime, to sit out on my porch (like I'm doing right now) and smoke a stogie.
Nearly every day.
One cigar.
My business partner flies down to Nicaragua 3 or 4 times a year. I tell him to order me 200 cigars and bring them home. I give a few away to business associates so it becomes a tax write-off. I'm able to buy some excellent cigars for less than a dollar because of the connections. Great cigars.

I smoke one nearly every day.

Absolutely love them. But I've gone a week or two without having one, and it doesn't bother me.
During the winter, I don't smoke as the weather isn't conducive to it.

I even went to Cuba and smoked hand rolled Cuban cigars and the memory of it, I wouldn't trade for anything. Even smoked one at Freedom Square in Havana where Castro gave his famous speech.

But I am considering on cutting down.
Soon.
This Covid thing is beginning to hit close to home and I know it affects the lungs.

But in the meantime, my stogie is still lit, so I think I'll finish it off...
 

kelvinfernandezm

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I enjoy nicotine. My go to is usually chew but I hate the damage it does to your gums. I usually stop cold turkey and return to it months later. But this time I might just smoke some cigars. Also a positive effect of nicotine is increased testosterone in man.

There are some people here that say cigars will damage your lungs but I don't see how if you're not suppose to inhale them like cigarettes. I think the more natural something is the less risk you have of cancer. I'm not a doctor so don't quote me on that.

If I had to rank the risk of cancer in tabacco products cigars would be last on the list. My reasoning is because you don't inhale and its not processed. Also there's now organic cigars in the market. That means no pesticides, genetically modified organisms or radiation. Which is what increases your risk of cancer.
 

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It's interesting to see members of the forum partake in cigar smoking, quick tidbits below from CDC

35029

The global cigar and cigarillos market size was estimated at USD 17.45 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 17.96 billion in 2020.


Now that's how you Unscript, mass media > market > product

The market for premium cigars has been driven by well-off Chinese consumers, who often splashed out during trips abroad, but a weaker yuan saw slower purchases in the second half of 2019 before any impact from the coronavirus crisis.


35030

If you've ever listened to his lyrics, there are a few lines about bragging that he's rich and smokes cohibas, what would that do for sales?

A line from Unscripted, Hyper reality #2 Consumerism

''The Scripted seeders are spending trillions brainwashing us''

I think partaking in smoking is being a side walker with your health, gum disease? Tooth loss? Lung disease?

No thanks!
 
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levijean

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I used to smoke cigars weekly but havent had one in years. I hate the way they stink up my clothes & hair & skin. And they are really offensive to non-smokers nearby. And I dont want to pretend to justify it with my wife & kids.

There are plenty of other ways to pause & reflect on the day. Club soda + lime is a good alternative.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Now I it has become a ritual in the summertime, to sit out on my porch (like I'm doing right now) and smoke a stogie.

That's my ritual as well, tried to replace it with a cold beer, but it just isn't the same.

It's almost become like a queue to take a breather and relax, almost meditate.
 

million$$$smile

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If there is a Zen to anything.

It's the Zen of smoking a cigar...
 

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