We all know that smoking cigars is a great time to sit down and relax, chat, watch tv or do anything else that piques your interests. Last week I reached out to everyone on Twitter and Facebook. I asked a simple question, “What else do you do while smoking a cigar?” I got some great responses. I was really excited to hear what people said and to get some ideas of how people enjoy their cigars. I compiled the responses into similar groups. In this post I’m going to tell you some of my favorite things to do while smoking and why I do them. Then tie them into what others do. I don’t know if I’ll be able to explain the pyschology behind them, but I’ll take my best guess at it. So fire up a stick and settle in as I go through some other things to do while smoking a cigar.
This was by far the most popular activity that people do while smoking a cigar. I’ll have to admit this is what I do when I smoke, and that’s exactly why I started this blog. I wanted to find great tasting cigar pairings, and really explore and expand my palate. Now I realize most people aren’t smoking and drinking to sit down and blog about it. They’re just taking two incredibly delicious and relaxing activities and combining them. They want to be completely relaxed, and possbily not be able to walk afterwards, I totally get that. That’s only half of the reason I do it, I haven’t figured out the other half yet though…
For centuries, people have been combining spirits, wine, beer, and anything to drink with smoking cigars. There is just something explicitly cohesive about this activity. Almost a yin and yang if you will. I know whenever I light up, if I don’t have a drink in my hand I feel like something is wrong. Some would call that alcoholism, but I would call it… Well it’s some sort of ”ism”, but it hasn’t been clinically defined yet. Do we have any doctors reading that could help me out?… Ok didn’t think so.
I can’t explain it, but I know that most of you all agreed that having a drink, was your favorite co-activity while burning down a nice stogie, and it’s definitely number 1 on my list as well.
I honestly thought, this would be the most popular answer to my question. Smoking cigars is inherently a social activity. Why do you think cigar bars are so popular? We love to socialize, and cigars have an effect on our brain that causes the release of endorphins whichs makes us feel happy. What do we do when we’re happy? Yeah, you go it, we socialize. We want to go talk to people, we lower our inhibitions and open ourselves up. Sounds similar to what happens when we drink alcohol. Therefore that makes cigar smoking the ultimate social activity.
Lets be honest, we don’t really enjoy smoking cigars by ourselves. I mean sometimes, yes, I love to just sit at home and relax and write reviews for you all. It’s one of the most relaxing things I do. But my nature is to be social, I love talking and just hanging out. Cigars are a great way to foster community and relationships. Now, the average person, someone who is not an avid cigar smoker might be hesistant of going and smoking in a cigar bar. But, if they just try it they’ll be hooked, the comraderie, that is developed while smoking a cigar is incredible. You can meet just about anyone and have a 2 hour conversation with them over a cigar, and it’s not weird at all. Just last week I met a Brother of the Leaf (BOTL) from r/cigars who came into town. We chatted over a cigar for almost 2 hours and we had never met. Now try and tell me cigars are not a social mechanism.
Ahhh, one of my favorite past times. To me there are very few times that I don’t sit down and read while smoking a cigar. It’s such a great way to just relax and focus on the book. I love learning, I read mainly personal development or marketing books. I can’t get into fiction books. I’d rather watch a movie, I know it doesn’t make sense. I would rather read something is going to benefit me down the road instead of entertain me. That’s just my personal choice though.
I’ll tell you what though, the Kindle Fire has changed my life. I used to only read paper books, and I was a little leary of reading them while smoking. I didn’t want to drop the cigar on them and it possibly catch fire in my hands and then give me 3rd degree burns. I know, it’s very unlikely, but at the same time you never know what could happen right? Plus, I didn’t want the paperback books smelling like cigars after I got done reading them in case I wanted to sell them or if I had to return them.
I was honestly surprised by the number of people that said they read while smoking cigars. I thought I was some sort of weird intellectual type. Turns out, I’m just a normal guy that likes to read while I relax with a cigar.
Now I grouped two of these common answers together under the “Relaxed Sports” header. Golf and Fishing, these are a couple of my favorite pastimes. I’ve recently rediscovered my love of fishing. I went out on a deep sea fishing trip in Destin this summer and it reignited my desire to fish. It was the first time I had ever gone ‘deep sea fishing’ and I can safely say I’ll be going every time I go down to Florida. I had so much fun. There is something magical that happens when you’re just sitting down reeling in that lure and puffing on a cigar. They go great together. You’re out in the fresh air without a care in the world. You already have the celebratory cigar lit for when you catch the big one. So you’re primed and ready to go!
The other ‘relaxed sport’ that people mentioned was Golf. Now notice I didn’t say ‘relaxing sport’ because for me golfing is one of the farthest things from relaxing I can do. That’s not to say that I don’t love to golf, I do. I’ve been playing golf since I was 10 years old. I grew up working in the kitchen and on the grounds crew at a golf course. I love it, but it is easily the most infuriating sport for me to play. However, when I have a cigar alongside of me, I’m calm, relaxed, and at peace with my golf game. In fact, golf is what got me hooked on cigars. I went on a week long golf trip to Pinehurst, NC one year for a buddy’s bachelor trip. I bought a box of cigars and took them with us and after that week I was hooked. I started visiting the B&M regularly. So thanks a lot Isaac (my buddie’s name) for getting me hooked on cigars.
Now there are some other relaxing sports out there where you can smoke cigars. Obviously poker, dominoes and games such as that. These were also some of responses that I heard. All of these games are social activities as well. So they go hand in hand with smoking. Just don’t try and smoke a cigar while you’re playing ice hockey. I play beer league hockey and I would have to imagine that it’s incredibly difficult to do at the same time. You’re huffing and puffing after taking a long shift, then you get back to the bench and you try to take a couple of drags off a cigar… Not a good idea.
I was surprised that I didn’t get any responses talking about just relaxing and watching TV, or listening to music. I had some people say they enjoyed doing things outside, either yard work, or hiking. I have to say I’m not a huge fan of watching TV, I enjoy movies, but I wouldn’t light up a cigar while watching. To me that is considered family time and not cigar time. Plus I’m not allowed to smoke in the house so it wouldn’t be possible. I guess that makes sense that people wouldn’t smoke and watch tv or movies. Just kinda surprising.
I know this didn’t offer anything intellectually enlightening or really educate you about cigars. Hopefully it convinced you that smoking cigars is a very social and relaxing activity. You don’t have to do a damn thing while you smoke, but you might take a look at the list above and try some of those ideas out. If you ever need an idea for what to drink with your cigar, be sure to check out our cigar pairing section!