Cigars Vs Cigarettes - The differences between them

Pass the cigar

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Cigars and cigarettes are two separate and very different tobacco products.

We will guide you through the main characteristics for both of them, bearing in mind that the only similarity is that they both burn tobacco. The tobacco burned is a totally different type of tobacco, with a very different flavour profile and quality of the smoke.

Cigars are often selected and enjoyed mainly for special occasions, during celebratory events, celebration parties, at golf clubs, at the races, at weddings, stag parties or poker parties. They are seen as a premium, expensive product, compared to the ubiquitous nature of cigarettes.

Cigar smoking can still be addictive but due to the time spent smoking or only occasionally smoking most people do not tend to get addicted from smoking a cigar or two. Cigars are often smoked several times a year or once a year, so the chance of addiction is lessened. Cigarettes are often considered more addictive as the body craves that fix for nicotine at regular intervals, several times of the day.

Lighting a cigar is more of a ritual which takes longer to savour than the quick easy fix of a cigarette.

Cigars are not inhaled as the flavour and aroma of the tobacco should blend pleasantly in the mouth when smoked. Cigarette smoke is inhaled straight away as they do not have the complexity of flavour to be appreciated.

Cigar tobacco vs cigarette tobacco

  • Cigars are handmade and each leaf of tobacco is carefully selected and harvested 100% naturally without any chemicals or additives.
  • Cigars are wrapped in pure tobacco leaves while cigarettes are wrapped in paper which is made for the purpose of mass production and not manually rolled.
  • Cigars go through a very strict selection after the “roller” makes the cigar which means each and every cigar will go through stages before the cigar gets boxed up and ready to be purchased by the public in humidors. ​

Cigars are unfiltered while cigarettes are filtered which makes the smoking very different especially as the nicotine in the cigar is released naturally when the leaf of tobacco burns.

In the cigarettes the filter separates the tar from the nicotine when inhaled and the cigarette keeps lit with chemical burners. Cigars are made for enjoyment and texture only and can be compared to sipping a vintage bottle of wine or favourite bottle of champagne and the aroma and flavours go with it.

Cigarette smoking instead can scale into addiction because it is about “the craving” for nicotine that keeps people smoking rather than an actual enjoyment or any special flavour involved.

Cigars and cigarettes differ also in their purpose and value for the smoking itself.

Why Are Cigars More Expensive than Cigarettes?

Cigars are more expensive and refined because they share history, tradition and culture and they give to the individual that ritual of celebratory achievement and power smoking.

Cigarettes by contrast are mass-produced by chain machinery industries as a remedy for fast smoking to satisfy the urge of our busy modern lives and to fill that void.

Cigars are sold per single-cigar or in packs of 5 or box of 10 or 25 and prices vary according to their brand, size and shape.

A good quality single cigar is in a range of £15 to £25 upwards, making the smoke an enjoyable and pleasant experience as the flavours and aroma of the tobacco is released when smoked.

Cigarettes are sold by a pack of 20 and their price is a pretty standard £10 per pack, there is not much fancy or sophistication in a pack of cigarettes.

Cigars prior to being smoked have to be tipped or cut, which will prepare the cigar to make the air circulate when lighting the cigar.

Cigarettes can be smoked straight out from the pack as they are ready to be lit.

Do cigars have more nicotine than cigarettes?

Cigars are made from natural leaves of tobacco which are harvested naturally without chemicals or additives and contain approx. 100-200mg of nicotine.

Cigarettes are machinery made and their tobacco is manufactured with granulated tobacco mixed with burning chemicals, additives, which makes their content around 10 mg of nicotine.

Cigars have a greater variety of sizes and shapes

A cigars size and shape are much larger than normal cigarettes because the tobacco leaves are rolled tighter together with precision and mastery from ‘the rollers’ and are made of 3 main components of tobacco leaves:

  • ‘Capa’ (the wrapper) The most expensive leaf to purchase. This gives the cigar its character and flavour.
  • ‘Capote’ (the binder) This is the tobacco just under the capa. The leaves here get the most sun and are pliable and durable for rolling.
  • ‘Fortaleza’ (Filler) is the bunched-up tobacco in the middle of the cigar, and it can be made of ‘ long filler’ or ‘ short filler’. The aficionado prefers long filler.

Cigarettes are standard in their body, form and shape and their components are the same for each cigarette.

The Cigar brands give each and every cigar its own authenticity and benchmark while branded cigarettes follow the same process in how they are made and have no differentiation or characteristics within themselves.