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Since I started smoking cigars, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of (mostly negative) stereotypes about cigar smokers. Some of them are obviously more widespread than others, but all of them get thrown around at one point or another and I’m sure you’ve heard all of them before in some form. Anyway, here’s my rundown of the top 4 most bothersome stereotypes about cigar smokers:
4. We’re (male) chauvinists
One of the biggest stereotypes about cigar smoking is that it’s exclusively a man’s game. Especially in recent years, more women than ever are lighting up, and many male smokers like myself appreciate this for way more than just the eye candy factor. For example, my girlfriend is a chef (lucky me, right?), and as such, she has a much better palate than I do. Because of that, nothing makes me happier than lighting up a couple of stogies with her and getting her input about how they taste, because she often picks up on a lot of things that I don’t. Thankfully, I think this is one stereotype about cigar smokers that won’t last much longer.
3. Our taste buds are burned out
I’ve heard tons of people go on about how cigar smokers’ taste buds are worn, burnt, or smoked out, and it just makes my blood boil. If anything, I feel like in the last year or so, I’ve honed my palate to the point where I find myself picking out flavors in foods that I’ve never even noticed before. That goes for beers and spirits, too.
In the same way that somebody who studies film will pick out things in a movie that nobody else notices, or a musician will be able to pick out certain parts played by certain instruments in an orchestra, experienced cigar smokers will be able to pick out specific tastes in a cigar simply because they know what to look for. That’s not to say that a new smoker won’t enjoy a cigar as much as a 10+ year veteran, but try smoking your favorite cigar now and smoking it again in a year. I guarantee that in a year, or even in six months, you’ll notice things about that cigar that you never picked up on before.
2. We’re wealthy
I’m not going to tell you how much money I make, but considering I’ve only been out of college for a little over a year, you can probably guess that I’m not making six or seven figures. I’ve heard a lot of people make sweeping generalizations about how as a company that sells cigars, we’re catering exclusively to the rich elite. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
If that’s true, then why are there bundles of cigars that cost a buck and change per stick? Why are big-name cigar companies like Toraño, Drew Estate, and Rocky Patel constantly churning out affordable stogies alongside their lofty super premiums? I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that just because I can often be found with a stogie between my teeth doesn’t mean I drink champagne and throw tuxedo parties every night. I’m just an average guy who happens to appreciate a fine smoke, or five.
1. We’re pretentious
Man, this one takes the cake. I’ll start by saying that if you think you’re better than anyone else because you smoke cigars and they don’t, I probably don’t want to smoke cigars with you. Smoking cigars doesn’t make you cooler just like playing baseball doesn’t make you a better writer—the two things simply have nothing to do with each other.
“Pretentious” implies that cigar smoking is exclusive and elite, and that new “members” are not welcome, and that’s just ridiculous. When I buy cigars, half the reason I buy doubles and triples is so I have extras to give out to people. It puts a smile on my face to give a new smoker a good stogie and watch how they react to it, either positively or negatively, because regardless of whether they enjoy it or not, they’re experiencing something entirely new. Sure, there are definitely pretentious cigar smokers out there, but that doesn’t mean all cigar smokers are pretentious.
Anyway, I’m not trying to call anybody out by writing this. I’m just trying to point out a few stereotypes about cigar smokers that I find are often exaggerated or wrong. There are reasons for a lot of stereotypes, and I’m sure there are plenty of pretentious, woman-hating smokers who light their cigars with $100 bills and can barely taste them, but the vast majority of cigar smokers (at least the ones I’ve met) are just not like that. I just hope that at least one person who believes any of these preconceived notions reads this and does some serious reconsidering.