Is there a cigar aficionado on your gift list?
Wondering how to choose a decent cigar for a friend or loved one?
This article is about How to Buy Cigars as a Gift and how to spot fake cigar also some information about dangers of cigar
Even if you know nothing about cigars or choosing a good cigar, just learning a few basics can help you sniff out (sometimes literally) a good cigar to give to a friend
Fortunately, cigars have now entered the mainstream. Once the symbol of the rich and powerful, it’s easier than ever for just about anyone to purchase a good cigar. Of course, you probably won’t be able to buy your friend a box of top-tier Cuban cigars, but you can definitely buy them a good quality cigar that will put a smile on their face
First, visit your local tobacconist or specialty smoke shop for the best quality and widest selection. Avoid ‘drugstore’ cigars. Although they may be inexpensive and convenient to purchase, drugstore cigars are usually filled with preservatives and generally of poorer quality
They may contain, at a minimum, saltpeter, paper, glycerin, and other preservatives and irritants
You should make sure that the cigars you purchase are made of 100% tobacco. If you have any questions regarding the cigars ingredients, ask the salesperson. An experienced and knowledgeable sales clerk will be able to tell you extensive information about the ingredients
Your local tobacco shop is a good place to shop because you will generally be allowed to smell and touch the cigars. Squeeze the cigar gently. A good quality cigar will give a little when squeezed. The cigar should be firm, with no excessively soft or hard spots. Never buy a lumpy cigar
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Look at the wrapper. If you notice any drying or discoloration, best not to buy it. Ideally, the wrapper should be tight and smooth. Inspect the color of the tobacco to make sure it is even. Do this by inspecting the end of the cigar.
Some color variation is normal, but if the color changes abruptly, chances are the cigar was not rolled properly. A cigar that is not rolled properly may result in an uneven burning and unpleasant odors
If you’re not sure how much your friend smokes, choose a longer cigar. Longer cigars tend to have a ‘cooler’ taste—an excellent choice for beginners. If you know your friend is an experienced and regular smoker, choose a cigar that is greater in diameter
These cigars tend to have a richer flavor that experienced smokers will appreciate
How to Spot Fake Cuban Cigars
Everyone knows that Cuban cigars are the most coveted cigars, renown worldwide for their smoothness and rich flavors. Indeed, Cuban cigars are so prized that many illegitimate dealers have been known to sell fake Cubans to unsuspecting cigar smokers
How do you tell if what you have is a fake or the real thing? First, make certain that you purchase your cigars from a legitimate dealer. Buying from your local tobacconist or a reputable mail order business can protect you from forking your money over for a box of fake cigars
If you have an opportunity to purchase a box of purported Cuban cigars but have your doubts, take the time to examine the box before purchasing it. Here are a few tips to help you spot the fakes from the real thing.
The most important thing to examine is the box. Authentic Cuban cigars will contain a green and white warranty seal on the left front side of the box. The seal will contain an insignia that has a picture of a shield and a hat.
On the upper right-hand corner of the box, you should find a white sticker that is placed diagonally with the word ‘Habanos’ printed on it. The overall appearance of the box should be neat and clean.
If the box appears damaged, smudged, frayed, or marked, avoid it. If the color of the box is dull, don’t buy it. Even if the cigars are the real things, their quality may have suffered in transport.
If you are in the market for Cohiba, Trinidad, or D’Orsay brand cigars, know that all authentic Cohiba’s will contain the green and white warranty seal on the right-hand side of the box.
On the bottom of the box of cigars, you should find a heat stamp with the words ‘Habanos.’ The heat stamp should be impressed onto the bottom of the box. Fake Cuban cigar boxes often find other ways to imprint this label, such as using rubber stamps or paper labels.
You should also find a factory code stamp at the bottom that is stamped in green, blue or black ink. This stamp will tell you when and where the cigars were rolled.
If you can open the box, take the time to smell the tobacco. Cuban cigars will have a deep, rich aroma, unmistakable to dedicated cigar aficionados. If the smell is off, or very weak, chances are you do not have a box of authentic Cuban cigars in your hands. The cigars should be facing the same way, and the top row may appear slightly flattened.
The caps on all the cigars should appear identical, and the foot of each cigar should be cut clean. The bands on all the cigars should also be identical and should be arranged so that they face the same direction.
If allowed, test the cigars out by pressing down on them. Feel along the entire length of each cigar, checking for soft or hard spots. The cigars should feel firm yet pliable.
The Dangers of Being Exposed to Cigar Smoke
We have all heard about the dangers of inhaling second-hand smoke. Many people wonder if the dangers of inhaling cigar smoke are just as dangerous, or more. Unfortunately, it appears that being exposed to secondhand smoke from a lit cigar can be just as dangerous—or more—than regular cigarette smoke.
All secondhand smoke emitted by tobacco products are classified as environmental tobacco smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke refers to all the secondhand smoke released from tobacco products that are lit, such as cigars or cigarettes.
Research indicates that the smoke from cigars and cigarettes releases many of the same types of irritants. Both cigar and cigarette environmental tobacco smoke contain nicotine, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia. The environmental tobacco smoke from cigars and cigarettes also releases well-known carcinogens such as vinyl chloride, benzene, arsenic, hydrocarbons, and nitrosamines.
Cigars, because of their size, usually release an environmental tobacco smoke than cigarettes. Being around cigar smoke, then, can pose more of a health threat than inhaling secondhand smoke from a lit cigarette.
Even though both cigars and cigarettes release similarly toxic environmental tobacco smoke, there are some key differences between the two. These differences are related to the very different ways that cigars and cigarettes are manufactured. The production of cigars consists of a long process of fermentation and aging.
During the production and fermentation process, large amounts of carcinogens are produced. Once a cigar has been fermented and aged, they are wrapped in a nonporous wrapper that keeps the cigar from burning too quickly. The fermentation process and nonporous wrapper both contribute to the high concentrations of carcinogens in the smoke of a cigar.
When a cigar is lit, the carcinogenic compounds produced during the fermentation process are released. The nonporous wrapper also contributes to an unclean burn that is high in carcinogens.
Another reason why cigars produce greater amounts of carcinogens is in their girth and length. Cigars are simply bigger than cigarettes. Their size allows them to release much more smoke, and in turn, much higher concentrations of toxins and irritants.
Also, cigars are designed to be smoked much more slowly than regular cigarettes, and cigar smokers are encouraged to take their time and enjoy the relaxing experience. This results in longer smoke times, and obviously, the creation of much more smoke. It is advised for all non-smokers to avoid areas where cigars are being smoked.
If you smoke cigars, make sure to do so in a well-ventilated area.
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