How Many Cigars Can You Smoke in a Day Without Getting Sick?

Jeff Miller
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What is Cigar Sickness?

Some people call it a “cigar hangover”, but regardless of what you call it, it can happen to anyone and it should be avoided. Sometimes cigar hangovers make themselves known as soon as you light up, but it can also sneak up on you while you sit and smoke a fine cigar. It is immediately preceded by that “I’ve smoked too much” feeling; a dull headache and feeling sick to your stomach. It quickly moves into a feeling of unwellness and the need to eliminate.

Since cigars only contain nicotine, not like cigarettes, it’s hard to understand what is going on. The reason why it happens to cigar smokers is because you are taking huge bong rips as you smoke one. This is something that is hard for a cigarette smoker to do, but a cigar smoker has no problem doing this. You can smoke two to three cigarettes in the time it would take you to smoke one cigar.

That is why this feeling of sickness is so easy to fall into. Your body doesn’t know what to expect so when the nicotine and ammonia levels in your bloodstream get too high at once, it knows something is amiss and it reacts by making you sick. However, there are things you can do to avoid falling into this trap.


Cigar Aficionados – How many cigars can you safely smoke in a day? Smoking cigars isn’t as risky as cigarillos or cigarettes, but it’s not risk free, either.

Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco that gives you the head rush or buzz when you smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant drug that increases your metabolism, heart rate, and blood sugar and keeps you awake. Over time, it can change the structure and function of your brain, leading to poor memory, depression, and sleep disturbances. It’s nearly twice as addictive as heroin and there’s no safe level of smoking.

How you smoke cigarettes, cigarillos, and cigars also impacts their health risks. If you don’t inhale cigarettes, the risk for lung cancer is less than 1%. That jumps to about 20% if you smoke 25 or more cigarettes per day. Inhaling, the way you do when smoking cigars, is more dangerous. Nicotine is absorbed through the lining of your mouth and throat. When you draw smoke into your mouth, your body absorbs more of it. Cigar smokers over age 40, who smoke at least one cigar a day for at least 10 years, have the same risk for lung cancer as cigarette smokers.

What to Do to Avoid Getting Sick

Smoking is clearly a dangerous pastime, but most smokers don’t plan on dying from lung cancer or other smoked-related ailments. While only a few puffs of their favorite cigar may trigger an illness (or may pass one), the symptoms of cigar sickness may linger for a day or longer.

In the old days, it was pretty easy to avoid cigar sickness. The tobacco used in cigars was much stronger and less refined than what’s used in cigars today. Most likely, your grandfather smoked a few cigars in his lifetime and didn’t ever get sick. In fact, there are about a dozen diseases caused by cigar smoking … but they're all rare today. The trick to avoiding cigar sickness is to know your limitations and avoid tobacco that's much stronger than you can handle.

Between the mid-19th century and the mid-20th century, smoking became much more popular than it was before. The invention of the cigarette gave millions of people around the world a new way to get their daily fix. In the past century, people began smoking more cigars, as well … and by the 1960s, smoking had become completely mainstream. Cigars were an accepted part of casual social gatherings and smoking was nearly as common as drinking.

Pace Yourself

If you want to enjoy your cigars for a lifetime, then follow these guidelines to keep from making yourself sick.

Go slow. People who tend to smoke quickly tend to inhale more smoke, which may irritate the lining of their lungs and cause nicotine poisoning. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Savor the flavors, knowing that a cigar normally has less nicotine than a cigarette.

Think about beer goggles and how alcohol makes you feel. Although you may get a buzz from a cigar, you’re not going to be as intoxicated physically as you would be from alcohol. You’re going to be able to feel your body’s warning signs as you reach your limit, and you’ll be able to be more responsible for yourself. That’s why it’s important to pace yourself.

Don’t inhale. The easiest way to do it responsible is to use a cigar snuffer. A cigar snuffer is a device with a suction-cupping mechanism that attaches to the table of your cigar cutter. It lets you put the cigar in and puff the smoke out.

Why Beginners Get Sick

There is a higher degree of anxiety when smoking a cigar for the first time … a anxiety driven by anticipation. We’ve all seen the pictures of people holding a cigar in their mouths, and it’s somewhat intimidating. It’s time to face your fears and voraciously puff on a stogie. You don’t want to look like a rookie.

Some flavor profiles in cigars are subtle and don’t develop fully until your body is accustomed to the nicotine.

There are two factors at play here. First, smoking a cigar is much less frequent than smoking cigarettes. Second, nicotine is much more prevalent in cigars than it is in cigarettes.

The nicotine in cigarettes is only a small component of the overall flavor profile. Cigars, on the other hand, can contain anywhere from a full to a fraction of a percent. That level is going to vary by each cigar, but it’s something to be aware of.

Due to the higher concentration of nicotine and the infrequent smoking, your body has likely not experienced the effects of nicotine at the levels you’re receiving from your cigar. Your body will react accordingly by making you nauseous and dizzy.

Cigar Hangover

The feeling of a cigar hangover can sneak up on you. Just when you think that you're doing alright by your lungs, it hits you. You basically have a number of different types of cigar hangovers, depending on how much you smoke and how much you drank on the same night.

The 2 most common hangovers are the first and the third. The first comes on quickly and, if you have a few stogies in a row, it can last for about 24 hours. You'll feel bad while smoking all those cigars but after you stop, you'll probably feel a little better. The second hangover is the best and lasts for about a year. We call it a hangover, but it's really just getting old. You'll also feel the effects for the rest of the night after a mild bout of the first hangover.

Start low and slow and you'll find out what your tolerance is. On a long weekend, you may consider 1-2 cigars per day as your limit. But that doesn't mean you can't have more stogies on that weekend, so make sure you've figured out how much you can smoke before you feel the effects. Cigars don't seem to have the hangover that cigarettes do, so the recommendation to help avoid smoking too many is to grab a beer with that stogie.

Smoking Frequency

Cigars have a very short burn time, ranging from about 5 to 20 minutes. If you smoke cigars frequently, you need to have high nicotine levels so you get the desired effect from one cigar and the next cigar you smoke.

When you smoke infrequently, it allows your body to regulate your nicotine levels, so you notice the feeling more when you smoke. But the problem occurs when you don’t smoke much, and then you decide to have a cigar or two. In many cases, a person goes back to the old habit of being a regular smoker with an increased nicotine need.

It’s a well-known fact that smoking causes a chemical reaction with nicotine, and the higher the levels of nicotine are in your system, the higher your mood. There are many smokers who have this habit of randomly trying to calm down with a cigar after work.

Final Thoughts

Smoking is one of the most harmful things that people can do to their bodies. It raises blood pressure and speeds up the heart rate. It also negatively affects lung function and contributes to a host of diseases. Smokers often suffer from lower self-esteem, due to their body’s reaction to the toxins present in cigarettes.

Women are finding themselves more and more stressed by the damage that smoking has done in their bodies. One shocking fact is that menopause can impact a woman when she hasn’t even begun to think about it. The process of menopause is difficult enough without the added stress of smoking.

The greatest fear that smokers have isn’t that they will die in a car accident or that they’ll end up in the hospital. The most terrifying thing smokers fear is losing their sense of smell and taste. They fear that they will be unable to smell a suspicious odor or taste a delicious meal.

A recent study was performed to see the effects that smoking has on the body. Using a ratio of 1” smoked cigarettes to 2” non-smoked cigarettes, the researchers monitored the results of their study. The results of the study found that there is no safe limit to smoking cigarettes.