Smoking Cigars: Hobby, Habbit, or Full Addiction?

Man's hand on knee holding smoking cigar, close-up
Getty Images/PhotoAlto/Laurence Mouton

Many people view smoking cigars as a harmless and enjoyable activity. Smoking a cigar with friends or on a special occasion is a very common occurrence. However, it is possible for smoking cigars to become a more dangerous behavior.

Defining Addiction

When it comes to defining behaviors, we refer to actions as hobbies, habits or addictions:

  1. Hobby: A hobby is an activity or pastime done for pleasure. You may take up golf for a hobby, or perhaps fishing. It's something you do during your leisure time that you enjoy, but it is not a necessity or driving need.
  2. Habit: A habit is a recurrent pattern of behavior that becomes ingrained in your psyche as the result of frequent repetition. Having a cup of coffee in the morning, for example, is a habit many people develop in their working lives. It is often an action you do subconsciously, without actively thinking about it.
  3. Addiction: An addiction is a mental or physical dependence beyond your control. Some people can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, caffeine and even smoking cigars. With addiction, you have a physical or mental need to indulge in an activity. If you do not give in to the cravings, you may experience physical discomfort or even pain.

What Kind of Cigar Smoker Are You?

If you are a cigar connoisseur who considers cigars a special treat and you smoke no more than a few handmade cigars per week without inhaling, then cigars are likely a hobby. You savor and enjoy every smoke, and enjoy sampling a variety of premium cigars.

If you are a cigar enthusiast who routinely lights up more than a couple of cigars every day without even thinking about it, then cigars are a habit. Although you may enjoy sampling premium cigars and do not inhale, you probably have a favorite "everyday" cigar and do not mind smoking cheap or machine made stogies.

If you are a cigar smoker who smokes and inhales several cigars per day, then you may be addicted to cigars. You cannot make it through the day without smoking several cigars and need to take breaks like a cigarette smoker in order to get your nicotine fix. Contrary to popular belief, addiction to cigars is very possible. And if you inhale and are exposed to the nicotine, can experience the same health risks as cigarettes.​​

Can a Cigar Hobby Lead to Addiction?

It is possible, but not probable. Even the National Cancer Institute recognizes the behavioral differences in daily usage and level of inhalation between the majority of cigar smokers and cigarette smokers. However, if you believe that you are addicted to cigars, talk to your doctor about health screenings and smoking cessation programs.

While smoking cigars can seem like a harmless hobby, it is important to monitor your smoking activity, behaviors and physical and mental drives. If you begin to feel like you must have a cigar, or feel ill if you miss your normal smoking time, it may be time to speak with a health professional.