17 votes

What are your thoughts on cigars? Or the other little rituals of life?

I had my first cigar yesterday. I've been overthinking too much. Too much time alone in the dorm. My roommate came in after I got back from dinner, and saw I was kinda stressed. He said "take a look at this" and pulled out a box from under his bed. He cracked it open, and I saw some cigars, a lighter, some other equipment I don't recognize. He asked if I wanted to have one. I said sure, though I've never smoked anything before.

We left the dorm during the twilight hours and hit up some hiking trails. He busted out the lighter and lit us both up. I was pretty intimidated at first, but it actually tasted quite nice. Sweet, a little bitter. We walked a slow mile as twilight turned to dusk, just talking guy stuff. Workouts, growing up, music, whatever. I thought it was an excellent way to wind down the day and keep my mind where it belongs, here and now. It seemed to be something of a ritual, a little pleasure to be had on occasion with a friend or two.

Do you guys take a similar approach to tobacco? Maybe some other little rituals like coffee, or beer, or tea, or a walk on the beach?

33 comments

  1. [5]
    imperialismus
    Link
    Not to spoil the good vibes in this thread, but I have a history with drug rituals. I used to abuse drugs including pills and powdered drugs, and the act of laying out, chopping up, and snorting...
    • Exemplary

    Do you guys take a similar approach to tobacco? Maybe some other little rituals like coffee, or beer, or tea, or a walk on the beach?

    Not to spoil the good vibes in this thread, but I have a history with drug rituals. I used to abuse drugs including pills and powdered drugs, and the act of laying out, chopping up, and snorting powdered drugs became a ritual. It got to the point where I would even snort drugs that practically have no recreational value, just because I associated the ritual with pleasure, like Pavlov's dogs salivating at the sound of a bell. I have heard from other drug addicts that this is not uncommon; there are even stories of heroin addicts shooting up saline because they associate the ritual of shooting up with pleasure, even if saline water has no actual recreational effect. (Thankfully I personally never got to the point of injecting anything.)

    I realize that other people who might responsibly enjoy a joint or a cigar or something every once in a while will not have that experience, so I don't judge anybody. However, I'm personally quite wary of any remotely drug-related rituals in daily life. These days I have more or less put those things in the past.

    I'll counter that downer of a story with a positive kind of manual ritual. I'm a photographer, and I have a modern digital camera which I use most of the time. But every once in a while, I like using an old, all-manual camera. I have an old twin-lens reflex, a Yashicamat dating from approximately 1958. It doesn't have autofocus. It doesn't even have a light meter. One time, I forgot to put my electronic light meter in my camera bag when I was out photographing with it. I had to rely on the age-old wisdom of the "sunny 16" rule. And guess what? The photos came out perfectly exposed and perfectly in focus, despite the fact that I used a 100% mechanical, all-manual camera. Those are the kinds of moments that make me feel like a craftsman, like I have actually mastered a craft. It's not the straightest road to a perfect photograph, but it's definitely the more rewarding one.

    26 votes
    1. [4]
      vord
      Link Parent
      As a former cigarette smoker, the rituals are what's actually hard to break. You can get clean off the nicotine itself in a few weeks. But those years of rituals are hard to shake. That's why...

      As a former cigarette smoker, the rituals are what's actually hard to break. You can get clean off the nicotine itself in a few weeks. But those years of rituals are hard to shake.

      That's why vaping worked for me when patches/gums/etc didn't. It let me taper the nicotine, keep rituals. Eventually was able to break down the rituals 1 by 1. Now I don't even vape.

      I'll still have an occasional cigar, and a mini one if I worked a > 12 hour day (as I did today), but it took 3 years and COVID to break the last of my rituals.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        tomf
        Link Parent
        man, I never want to go through those first few months after quitting smoking again. Nice work dropping vaping, too. I'm getting to that point -- but I only vape at home (I have a passthrough mod)...

        man, I never want to go through those first few months after quitting smoking again.

        Nice work dropping vaping, too. I'm getting to that point -- but I only vape at home (I have a passthrough mod) and haven't vaped outside of the house since around 2015.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          vord
          Link Parent
          Next step that worked for me: don't vape in the house. Only vape outside. Definitely makes you think twice if you have to face freezing cold or extreme heat to get your fix.

          Next step that worked for me: don't vape in the house. Only vape outside. Definitely makes you think twice if you have to face freezing cold or extreme heat to get your fix.

          4 votes
          1. tomf
            Link Parent
            ha. yeah -- that might work. The vape I have is a passthrough -- it runs off of a PSU (no batteries.) I think I'll just stop once I run out of nicotine. I've got about half a litre left, so I'll...

            ha. yeah -- that might work. The vape I have is a passthrough -- it runs off of a PSU (no batteries.)

            I think I'll just stop once I run out of nicotine. I've got about half a litre left, so I'll be good for a while, but not forever.

            The one thing I really miss about smoking are the late nights when the air is crisp. That being said, I still have a few smokes per year and always feel so gnarly after them. I don't know how I used to smoke a pack a day.. let alone finding the time.

            2 votes
  2. [15]
    hamstergeddon
    Link
    I really enjoy ritualistic stuff like that. I use a french press to make coffee because I like the ritual and manual nature of it. I occasionally smoke a pipe because it takes a while to pack it...

    I really enjoy ritualistic stuff like that. I use a french press to make coffee because I like the ritual and manual nature of it. I occasionally smoke a pipe because it takes a while to pack it right and get it going. I occasionally enjoy listening to vinyl because it takes a while to find the right album and get it playing.

    Everything's so quick/easy these days and while I love that, it's nice to break free from it and manually do these things from time to time.

    And also I think sometimes grabbing a beer or smoking a cigar with a buddy is just an excuse to talk, ya know? Last week my brother invited me over to watch Hockey and drink, but we spent the entire time just talking about life.

    12 votes
    1. bhrgunatha
      Link Parent
      I have an aeropress, and I prefer the inverted method. I've also developed some extra tweaks which makes for an even more complex ritual and I absolutely love it.

      I have an aeropress, and I prefer the inverted method. I've also developed some extra tweaks which makes for an even more complex ritual and I absolutely love it.

      6 votes
    2. [12]
      Parliament
      Link Parent
      And I recommend using a milk frother! My wife and I laugh at how vital a milk frother has become to my daily routine during the pandemic. It adds so much deliciousness to the taste.

      I use a french press to make coffee because I like the ritual and manual nature of it.

      And I recommend using a milk frother! My wife and I laugh at how vital a milk frother has become to my daily routine during the pandemic. It adds so much deliciousness to the taste.

      5 votes
      1. [8]
        hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        My lactose intolerance won't allow it! Unless almond milk can be frothed, that is.

        My lactose intolerance won't allow it! Unless almond milk can be frothed, that is.

        5 votes
        1. asoftbird
          Link Parent
          Oat milk can be frothed pretty decently! Also, the one I have keeps well outside the fridge until you open it. Just put one carton in the pantry & never run out of milk last-minute ever again.

          Oat milk can be frothed pretty decently! Also, the one I have keeps well outside the fridge until you open it. Just put one carton in the pantry & never run out of milk last-minute ever again.

          3 votes
        2. fazit
          Link Parent
          I was in your shoes not too long ago, until I found the Oatly Barrista Edition. It's way to expensive to use for cereals, but it's just perfect for your cappuccino. From what I've read on the back...

          I was in your shoes not too long ago, until I found the Oatly Barrista Edition. It's way to expensive to use for cereals, but it's just perfect for your cappuccino. From what I've read on the back they actually add natron to the oat milk to have it foam up while heating - and it works perfectly, I can even practice some latte art.

          Maybe give it a try. :)

          3 votes
        3. [5]
          Parliament
          Link Parent
          Dang! I've never tried frothing almond milk, but I don't see why you couldn't.

          Dang! I've never tried frothing almond milk, but I don't see why you couldn't.

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            The protein structure in it is different. Part of what makes the froth stand up so well is the proteins in milk. You can froth almond milk, but the foam won't stick around.

            The protein structure in it is different. Part of what makes the froth stand up so well is the proteins in milk. You can froth almond milk, but the foam won't stick around.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              Thra11
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Try oat milk. It froths really well. Edit: To expand on oat milk. If you're just adding a splash of milk to balance out the bitterness of the coffee, oat milk is great a great substitute for cow....

              Try oat milk. It froths really well.

              Edit: To expand on oat milk.
              If you're just adding a splash of milk to balance out the bitterness of the coffee, oat milk is great a great substitute for cow. However, if you are using large quantities of milk, it does have a subtle porridgy taste, which you might not like if you're accustomed to a subtle bovine taste instead. I consider this to be a little different to nut milks such as hazelnut or almond, where the nutty flavour is itself a nice addition to the drink, not just a "side-effect" to be minimized.

              4 votes
              1. MimicSquid
                Link Parent
                I'm very much a fan of oat milk for my coffee. Thanks for letting me know it foams well. I'll have to pull out the espresso machine again.

                I'm very much a fan of oat milk for my coffee. Thanks for letting me know it foams well. I'll have to pull out the espresso machine again.

                3 votes
            2. Parliament
              Link Parent
              Makes sense. What about steaming it? I’ve never frothed almond milk but have had a latte with almond milk from a cafe. I can’t remember what effect steaming had on it though.

              Makes sense. What about steaming it? I’ve never frothed almond milk but have had a latte with almond milk from a cafe. I can’t remember what effect steaming had on it though.

              1 vote
      2. [3]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        Do you have a recommendation for a good one? I like having a latte once in a while, and my wife loves matcha lattes, so I've been thinking about getting one to be able to make them at home.

        Do you have a recommendation for a good one? I like having a latte once in a while, and my wife loves matcha lattes, so I've been thinking about getting one to be able to make them at home.

        5 votes
        1. grahamiam
          Link Parent
          We've been happy (using both cow and soy milk) with Epica brand frothers. We've had two - the first one lasted ~4 years before we scratched part of the nonstick stuff inside it pretty bad on...

          We've been happy (using both cow and soy milk) with Epica brand frothers. We've had two - the first one lasted ~4 years before we scratched part of the nonstick stuff inside it pretty bad on accident and the second one is going strong after two years.

          3 votes
        2. Parliament
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          We have the “aerolatte”. It’s the only one we’ve ever owned, so I can’t really say if it’s good or not. We got it 7-8 years ago. I don’t think you need to spend more than $20 to get something good...

          We have the “aerolatte”. It’s the only one we’ve ever owned, so I can’t really say if it’s good or not. We got it 7-8 years ago. I don’t think you need to spend more than $20 to get something good though. Mine requires changing batteries every few months when I’m using it daily like I am now - that’s one minor downside I can think of.

          3 votes
    3. ShilohMizook
      Link Parent
      Ooh, that reminds me of some things I do too. Vinyl is definitely a nice way to listen to music. I think it really makes the music the focus rather than the background. I love going to a record...

      Ooh, that reminds me of some things I do too. Vinyl is definitely a nice way to listen to music. I think it really makes the music the focus rather than the background. I love going to a record store and dropping $10 on whatever's in the one-dollar box. Sometimes, I'm surprised by how good some of it is, even some things I can't find on spotify, so I have to use the vinyl.

      And yeah, it's totally an excuse to talk. Nobody says "Hey man, wanna be really deep and introspective for a little bit and open up to each other?" Nah, ya just say "Wanna cigar/drink/coffee?" and the rest flows from there. I think last night definitely had some good guy talk; I hope we can do it again sometime, it was a great way to get to know my roommate a bit.

      3 votes
  3. knocklessmonster
    Link
    At risk of being off-topic, I do the ritual as a means to an end. If I want a solid cup of coffee, I'll set up my aeropress or other method, and do it right, but because I want the coffee while I...

    At risk of being off-topic, I do the ritual as a means to an end. If I want a solid cup of coffee, I'll set up my aeropress or other method, and do it right, but because I want the coffee while I do something else. Same goes for tea, mate and kava. I'll distract myself for the time I'm waiting not out of impatience, but because I'm actively doing something else and want the beverage as a side. If it's a new process I'll take the time to savor the product, and see what I can improve, but that's about it.

    I never got into tobacco or cannabis because, while it's kinda nice, it detracts from things I'd rather be doing, and I don't care for some of the side effects of tobacco (physical tension, the smell) or cannabis (stale terpene coughs the next morning, the loss of mental acuity while on it, coughing from the hit).

    6 votes
  4. [5]
    mono
    Link
    When my friends and I were experimenting with drugs in high school, I tried smoking a cigar I got for free in an order of lighter butane. Had never tried tobacco except a blunt once or twice....

    When my friends and I were experimenting with drugs in high school, I tried smoking a cigar I got for free in an order of lighter butane. Had never tried tobacco except a blunt once or twice. After only like two hits, I got dizzy and nauseous... and after that, I lost any and all interest in tobacco and haven't touched it since. Dodged a bullet, as far as I'm concerned. The rest of my friends all got addicted to cigs in college.

    I get the ritual aspect, but tobacco isn't worth it to me. Cannabis, on the other hand...

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      JackA
      Link Parent
      Good idea sticking away from tobacco in general, but I do feel the need to point out you probably smoked the cigar wrong. A lot of people go into it thinking it will be like a joint, cigarette,...

      Good idea sticking away from tobacco in general, but I do feel the need to point out you probably smoked the cigar wrong. A lot of people go into it thinking it will be like a joint, cigarette, vape, etc and end up like you did. You're not supposed to inhale a cigar, just roll the smoke around in your mouth for the flavor.

      There's as much nicotine in a cigar as there is in a full pack of cigarettes so inhaling it will knock you on your ass real quick if you don't have any tolerance.

      6 votes
      1. mono
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I definitely smoked it wrong and inhaled. I didn't cut it either. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Yeah, I definitely smoked it wrong and inhaled. I didn't cut it either. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        2 votes
    2. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      You've gotta be careful with tobacco, like any substance. I used kratom for a bit, and only used it every couple of days with no issue. To contrast, my brother used to smoke often, not daily, but...

      You've gotta be careful with tobacco, like any substance. I used kratom for a bit, and only used it every couple of days with no issue. To contrast, my brother used to smoke often, not daily, but he'd pack a pipe or go for a walk with a cigarillo, and noticed that if he went too often, he'd get a nagging need for it the next day, in which case he'd drop it.

      You may have smoked it wrong, but also cigars can be intense. And a bad first experience with anything will put somebody off for life.

      3 votes
    3. mrbig
      Link Parent
      Did you inhale the smoke by any chance? Cigars are not meant to be smoke like cigarettes.

      After only like two hits, I got dizzy and nauseous...

      Did you inhale the smoke by any chance? Cigars are not meant to be smoke like cigarettes.

      2 votes
  5. WendigoTulpa
    Link
    I have a love hate relationship with rituals. They can be extremely enjoyable, but like all things you have to be careful or you'll lose what makes them special if you do them too much or put too...

    I have a love hate relationship with rituals. They can be extremely enjoyable, but like all things you have to be careful or you'll lose what makes them special if you do them too much or put too many expectations on how they should be.

    I struggle a lot with monotony in my daily life. For instance I may make an excellent cup of coffee one day on a cool fall day and go for a walk while enjoying my drink. It might be such a great experience that I decide to do it everyday. Eventually it just becomes "this shit again" as the minutia and small challenges of daily life set in.

    A lot of talk of tobacco here. I've been off of cigarettes for almost 3 years since my former girlfriend got me to quit. We split a few months ago and now I've been wanting to go back and have a smoke (cigar or pipe, not cigarettes necessarily) sometimes, but I know I can have a very addictive personality and am afraid I might fall back into it all. I suppose quitting would be easier now since I already know I can do it, and the availability of vape products, but who knows. I got into zen meditation and I feel like its helped me accept my feelings for tobacco, and I don't think about it as much, but I still do.

    5 votes
  6. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I smoked cigars since I was 16, mostly because it looked cool. More recently I developed the habit of smoking pipe tobacco. It had many advantages compared to cigars, in my view. Mainly it allows...

    I smoked cigars since I was 16, mostly because it looked cool. More recently I developed the habit of smoking pipe tobacco. It had many advantages compared to cigars, in my view. Mainly it allows you to smoke exactly as much as you want. A cigar won’t taste as good if you cut it. It is also a much cheaper hobby.

    Regardless, tobacco is addictive and harmful in all forms. So I quit it.

    4 votes
  7. [2]
    MonkeyPants
    Link
    Once COVID has died down, you should take him to a Hookah lounge.

    Once COVID has died down, you should take him to a Hookah lounge.

    3 votes
    1. ShilohMizook
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I'd love to, but we'll probably have to wait longer than COVID since neither of us are 21 yet (God bless America). Probably a good thing though, I don't want to go off the deep end too quickly.

      Yeah, I'd love to, but we'll probably have to wait longer than COVID since neither of us are 21 yet (God bless America). Probably a good thing though, I don't want to go off the deep end too quickly.

      1 vote
  8. Zembriski
    Link
    Started smoking cigarettes in high school because of how freaking cool it made me look (/s) and picked up cigars in college once I had a little spending money and less sense. 16 years later, I've...

    Started smoking cigarettes in high school because of how freaking cool it made me look (/s) and picked up cigars in college once I had a little spending money and less sense. 16 years later, I've finally been off the cigarettes for a year and a half. That's just to preface saying: I absolutely love the ritual and experience of smoking a cigar or pipe. While the cigarettes were always a quick and dirty thing (at least once I got good and addicted), a pipe or cigar always acts as a way for me to force myself to slow down, disconnect from things I've been worrying about all day/week/whatever and just remember how important it is to sit and think and spend some quality time with myself. Not to say I don't enjoy having a drink and a conversation alongside it, but my good cigar buddy moved on so it's mostly a me thing these days. My wife doesn't exactly love the way it leaves me smelling so I trying to time it when she's busy with other things and I'm due for a shower after anyway.

    3 votes
  9. guts
    Link
    I have been homebrewing beer for almost 10 years, for beer it is similar when you talk about the ritual of tasting, as a Master Cicerone said a beer drinker can enjoy the beer in his or her glass;...

    I have been homebrewing beer for almost 10 years, for beer it is similar when you talk about the ritual of tasting, as a Master Cicerone said a beer drinker can enjoy the beer in his or her glass; a beer taster can read the story in every glass. After these years brewing and tasting this is exactly what happens when i drink a glass of any beer and that's included lagers where new people to craft beer frown up. The next level is when you bring a great beer in the right moment in the right place and creates this wonderful synergy like what Starbucks talks about with the Starbucks experience.

    3 votes
  10. johnaj
    Link
    I have a similar approach to tobacco, though I don't really like cigars. I prefer unfiltered Camel cigarettes (there is a huge difference in taste between filtered and unfiltered cigarettes)....

    I have a similar approach to tobacco, though I don't really like cigars. I prefer unfiltered Camel cigarettes (there is a huge difference in taste between filtered and unfiltered cigarettes). Cigarettes have a bad reputation, and a large part of that is deserved, but it's largely the fault of cigarette companies and capitalism in general. In its original essence, a cigarette is something like a smaller, more convenient cigar.

    I certainly understand why people can be skeptical towards tobacco in general and cigarettes specifically, but I have personally have never experienced anything like an addiction. Everything in moderation... It's really the same as with coffee: you can treat it either like a luxury or like a drug.

    2 votes