Absorb this!

Posted By on September 20, 2011

Seven days without a cigar is a week and three weeks with no cigars is torture.  Well my boys and girls, I went THREExoutcalander weeks with no stogies and I have learned that a life with no cigars is no life at all.  That jerk-off David Blain had it easy freezing himself in a block of ice for 63 hours on national television because my test of endurance to abstain from cigars should be a prime time sweeps winning show because it was WAY more difficult.  I guess some sort of explanation is in order because I’m sure you’re asking yourself why The  Cigar Soldier went smoke free for so long?  Truth is, I had to have a “heath screening” for my new life insurance so I was told to hide my humidors until it was completed. My goal was to clean out the system so the insurance company doesn’t bend me over on rates if they find traces of nicotine in my system.

Without trying to steal a line from Dennis Miller, “now I don’t want to go off a rant here but” this is freaking ridiculous.  Me acting like I don’t smoke cigars is harder than panning for gold in your own shower.  I’d like to think that for the most part I’m an honest person but unfortunately the threat of being treated like a nearsighted sky diver made me tell the nurse a different story.  Enjoying an occasional cigar doesn’t make you any more of an addict than having a few beers makes you an alcoholic.  For more on that, read my last post (http://www.cigarnightonline.com/2011/08/cigars-are-addicted-to-me/) As cigar smokers we are well aware of the inherent differences in smoking cigarettes versus cigars.  The problem is, the insurance and health care industry isn’t or doesn’t care.  Hell, they don’t even distinguish the difference between the act of smoking and using smokeless tobacco products!

They view nicotine as nicotine and no matter how it got into your system and you are going to pay for it.  In highercotinine premiums that is.  Actually what is being looked for is the metabolite of nicotine which is cotinine.  Cotinine is used as a bio-marker for nicotine levels because in simple terms, it stays in the body MUCH  longer making it a good indicator of your exposure to tobacco smoke.  Since it stays in your blood stream for an extended period of time, even after you stop smoking, I knew it would be important to minimize that risk so I avoided enjoying any cigars or even being around my stogie chomping buddies.  I even cut back on my alcohol comsumption which lead my wife to make the comment, “you’re really crabby lately”.  My reply was, “Yes I am!  It’s because I have to deal with the dolts of the world without being under the influence of my two favorite vices.  Booze and cigars.”   Call me crazy but I believe that enjoying a quality cigar is actually good for you.  I’ll refer you back to an old post where I think I make a pretty good case for it. (http://www.cigarnightonline.com/2009/02/march-3rd-cigar-night/)  See, I did make a good case for it but I’ll guarantee that my life insurance provider does not look at cigars the same way I do.

 Cigars are a completely different type of nicotine delivery device because unlike cigarette smokers who inhale the smoke, cigar smokers generally do not inhale which in turn causes a different rate of absorption.  Due to the high acidity level of tobacco smoke, very little nicotine is actually absorbed in the mouth compared to the huge area of the lungs where it can enter the blood stream quickly and venture into your circulatory system.  If you’re like me, you don’t “crave” nicotine because I  don’t expose my body to high enough levels to become addicted in the way cigaretterelax smokers do.  That is why when I crave a cigar it is not for the physical affects the actual cigar has on my body, but more the affects from the entire act of enjoying a cigar; picking it out, selecting a drink, finding a quiet spot with a good TV program or book, cutting, lighting, relaxing, tasting, clearing my mind, recharging my mental batteries and finally saying good bye to an ash tray full of hundreds of man hours of work by people who love to create the treats I love to enjoy.

How in the hell can that be bad for me?  I know it isn’t, you know it isn’t, but the guys who I have to pay monthly premiums to so my wife can have a butt load of cash to play with once I kick the bucket don’t.  And they are still the ones making the rules so in order to move my token around the playing board of life I need to roll their dice and hopefully still pass GO to collect my two hundred bucks every once in a while so I can buy another box of cigars.

Lets hope the wife won’t need to collect on that life insurance for a while becasue I have a lot more things to bitch about.  Light em’ up my Brothers and enjoy being heathly with me.

The Cigar Soldier


About the author

The Cigar Soldier is the founding father and President of The Brotherhood of the Leaf, an internet community of cigar enthusiasts and Northeast Wisconsin’s only true membership based cigar club. As the main writer for Cigar Night Online.com, his rants can sting, stir or inspire your emotions, as he leaves no topic of enjoying the cigar lifestyle off his hit list.


One Response to “Absorb this!”

  1. Armed_Liberal says:

    I feel your pain; whenever they ask me about tobacco at the VA clinics, I just say nope.jpg. Seriously, why would I tell you something that’s going to cause you to harangue me for every time I’m there? Least of all, for something that is an occasional pleasure for me. I used to be able to answer the question honestly, because they used to ask if I smoked cigarettes, to which I emphatically said no.

    To me, smoking cigars is not a health concern in the way most people see tobacco. I see it as a quality of life issue. I issue this challenge to anyone who denies this (and it’s not the first time I’ve done so): go and smoke a good cigar–and I mean a GOOD cigar… Oliva, Viaje, Rocky Patel Sun Grown or Decade, Cusano LXI, Don Pepin Garcia, or the like–along with the good conversation and alcohol with it, and then tell me it’s not a quality of life issue.

    If people take me up on the challenge, one of two things will happen: either they’ll like it, and we have another convert to the cause, or they don’t and at least they can say they’ve tried it.

    There are a few reasons why the French have such good quality of life (despite being chronic chain smokers of cigarettes). First, they have amazing health care… they have one of the best national health systems in the world. Second, they have amazing services; for example, when a woman has a baby, she’s issued out a nanny to help with the day-to-day stuff, and also to coach her on the best ways to do the tasks that all of us do when we have children. Third, they have a 32-hour work week and their retirement age is 60, which really limits the stress in their lives. Finally (and perhaps most importantly here), they drink wine… A LOT OF WINE, which is chock full of antioxidants, and that wine has none of the sulfites that are required by the US government to sell here. Put simply, the French have a high quality of life because their lives are low-stress, they get lots of recreational time, and they’re serial chain-smokers and alcoholics. I haven’t even touched on some of the horribly unhealthy stuff they eat. Yet despite all of the negatives, France has a lower incidence of sudden cardiac death than we do. Why? Antioxidants and low stress.

    And anyway, I saw how my grandfather died. He had systemic lupus erythematosus. His immune system attacked various systems in his body, until it attacked the hematopoietic stem cells in his red marrow. After that, he was unable to produce his own red blood cells nor platelets. The only thing that kept him alive for a year after that was packed platelet and packed red blood cell transfusions 3-4 times a week. After several months of this, they had to start putting him on immunosuppressants because his body was starting to reject the transfusions. He decided to discontinue the transfusions after the holidays at the beginning of this year. He had a quiet 59th anniversary with my grandmother, and less than a week after that, he he was in deep sedation because of the pain and suffering associated with his dying process.

    Fuck it, I’d rather have cancer.

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