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Smoking in the Great Indoors

By David Savona , Marvin R. Shanken | From Nick Jonas, September/October 2019
Smoking in the Great Indoors
Photo/David Yellen

Fall is nearly here, and this season of change serves as a reminder that there are fewer days left for us to spend time in the warm outdoors in this part of the world. Early autumn brings the end of beach season in the northeast United States and warns us that it’s time to head south if we want to keep playing golf. For many, it also means the end of smoking cigars comfortably outdoors.

We don’t cringe at the thought of losing the great outdoors as a place to smoke. In fact, we love smoking cigars inside. In many ways, it’s a better experience than smoking them outside. Sure, you’ll see both of us puffing cigars when we’re outside, perhaps by the pool, certainly on the porch or deck and almost always when we tee it up. But it’s a completely different experience than enjoying a cigar inside. It’s impossible to get a sense of your cigar’s aroma if you puff outside—one of the reasons we always conduct our blind tastings for Cigar Aficionado and our newsletter, Cigar Insider, indoors. Wind makes lighting difficult and can wreak havoc on your smoke, causing a cigar to burn unevenly or even burn hot, changing the flavor, and not for the better. Furthermore, there are 
some cigars we would never light up outside, among them vintage cigars that have a certain delicacy and can’t be easily replaced. We get it—for many of you, the outdoors is your best option for smoking a cigar. But even if you can’t light up in your home, consider finding an indoor spot to savor a cigar the way we do. Most cigar shops today offer places to smoke, whether it’s a simple set of chairs in a quiet corner, a grand lounge with leather couches and a full bar, or something in between. Just another reason to support your local brick-and-mortar cigar shop: no matter how convenient, Internet cigar sites don’t have smoking lounges. You can find a cigar-friendly venue near you by searching our database, at wts.cigaraficionado.com. Our Big Smokes also let you smoke indoors, which is one of its biggest draws. We hold them twice a year, in Las Vegas (which takes place November 15 to 17 this year) and in Florida (April 3 to 5, 2020). Visit TheBigSmokes.com to learn more. Take it from us—smoking inside makes a big difference. You’ll notice flavors you couldn’t pick up outdoors, savor the aroma, and get a more even burn than you would on a windy beach or breezy golf course. So seek out a good spot and light up a cigar indoors. We bet you’ll be happy.