The Case For Smoking Inside

The Case For Smoking Inside
On vacation in Bermuda, executive editor David Savona enjoys a cigar in his second favorite location: outside.

September means it’s time to put away the linen shirts, leave the beach behind and head back to the office. It’s also the time when the first hint of fall starts to appear, with cooler nights and shorter days, leading to more time inside. When it comes to my cigar smoking, inside is my preferred spot. 

Over the summer, I spend plenty of time in the outdoors, including a vacation with my family. For most people, vacation is a time to step up the cigar smoking. Not for me. And one of the big reasons is that I prefer smoking indoors to smoking outdoors.

I usually smoke less, not more, when I’m on vacation. For this trip, I spent a week in Bermuda. (If you’re a beach person, especially one who lives on the East Coast, consider this a trip worth taking. Ninety minutes by air from New York to gorgeous and mild blue waters. I’ll be back.) Nearly all of that vacation was spent outside, most of it on a sandy beach or swimming in the ocean.

I’m no fan of beach smoking, mostly because of the wind. Beaches tend to be breezy, and when the wind blows, I can’t enjoy the aroma of my cigar. A breeze can also mess with the burn. 

I typically light up when I play golf, especially when I’m riding in a cart, but it’s never as good a cigar experience as one I enjoy in a lounge. I lose a lot of cigars when I’m playing golf. Maybe my partner moves the cart and my cigar rolls off the cart bumper, or I put my robusto down on a tee box marker and forget it after my drive. Also, I’ve never been able to hit an effective golf shot with a cigar crammed in my jaws. (Some of my golfing buddies will argue that I’ve never hit an effective golf shot without a cigar in my jaws, but don’t listen to them.)

Smoking on the deck is better, but still it’s not ideal. 

Let’s talk about smoking inside. It’s far superior to the great outdoors. Certainly, for professional tastings the reasoning is clear. We test our cigars in the Cigar Aficionado smoking room, a controlled area. The lighting is the same every day, the temperature is constant, there is no breeze from the wind. It’s not a lab, but it does provide a consistent climate for accurate tastings.

When it comes to aroma, you just can’t experience it the same way when you smoke outside. Puffing inside allows you to get the nuances of the cigar as it burns. Rather than having the smoke whisked away by a breeze, it floats gently and slowly toward the ceiling. It’s far more relaxed. And it’s a lot easier to blow a smoke ring.

I know some of you smoke most, if not all, of your cigars outside. And I know part of that is reality. Most homes are off limits to cigar smokers. But just about everyone has access to a cigar shop with a lounge, or a cigar bar. (If you’re looking for one, check out our database at wts.cigaraficionado.com to find the one nearest you.) You owe it to yourself to smoke indoors, at least a few times.

So let me know in the comments below if you agree or disagree. Do you prefer smoking your cigar indoors, or outdoors?