Spit and Cigars

by Juan Panesso
spit and cigar


It’s one of those things that people don’t talk about much in fancy cigar reviews—spit. 

They don’t mention that the full-bodied Maduro redolent with notes of dark chocolate-covered raisins also will have your mouth juicier than a bucket of ripe cherries. 

They don’t mention that, by the time they were done smoking that Robusto, the area around their chair looked like they’d been filleting fish on the porch all afternoon.

They don’t mention that when they got up to freshen their drink, they nearly slipped and fell on their face thanks to the puddle of people water soaking into the deck.

It wouldn’t make for very pleasant reading, would it?

But the fact is, a lot of cigar lovers are often confronted with a basic issue when they’re puffing away on a stogie: what do you do with cigar spit? Well, you’ve got a few options. Let’s review.

Choice One – Let It Fly

This one is the simplest to do. Hell, half of us guys have been doing it competitively since Kindergarten. Just spit it out. For the majority of cigar smokers who are outside smoking, this can work fine. A location out on the lawn is perfect. If you’re on your porch, though, it can get gross if you’re spitting like a camel for two hours onto your own floor. 

Spitting on the floor inside is something different altogether. God damn, what kind of a savage are you? You might remember your grandpappy pulling this one if you’re from certain places that weren’t too particular about keeping things clean, but in any civilized location, this probably won’t fly. We’d actually be interested to hear from people who are smoking indoors and spitting on the floor. Primarily, we want to know if you share your cave with any other human beings or if your Shrek-like behaviors have scared them all off.

Choice Two – Mudjug

Dippers and chewers (along with people who wrestled in high school and had to make weight) probably have this one ready to go. You head out for a smoke, and you bring along something with you to spit in. It could be a legit spittoon, or it might just be the old trusty empty can or water bottle. The downside of a clear container is that you have to see your swamp potion build up over time, and you might gross everyone out, but that could be part of your plan to get some privacy, peace, and quiet for all we know. 

It makes no mess, keeps things tidy, and makes it so that you can discreetly keep your area clean. This is a solid option.

Choice Three – Swallow

You’ve been expecting your lady friends to do this for decades, and now you’re too good for your own brand? Just swallow it down! It’s less messy, that’s for sure. But, like your lady friends have told you—it can be gross. Not everyone wants to drink from their own tap. Those notes of earth and cedar don’t taste quite as good in saliva as they do in smoke, do they? Some people can even get nauseous from drinking too much mouth lube, so it’s definitely a matter of preference.

For that reason, this is only available to certain smokers. Not everyone is going to want to go this route. Maybe a swig of beer or whiskey can help the medicine go down? We leave it up to you.

Is Cigar Spit Harmful? Can It Give You Cancer?

We know that smoke is toxic, and that some of those things also wind up in your saliva. We’re not really sure how much worse it is for health to swallow smoky saliva than to spit it out. We have to assume it’s not a great idea to drink it all in during every smoke session if you’re trying to minimize health risks. We don’t have data or hard-hitting facts on this one, but we’re also sure that most cigar smokers already have made peace with the risks of smoking too. 

Probably best to let it out.

Do Cigars Make Everyone Need to Spit? Do Certain Cigars Make More Spit?

It seems like not everyone has this issue, and that there are a bunch of factors in play. Some people say that when they were newer smokers, it was worse. Some say that strong sticks seem to create the most saliva. Others even can cite a certain type of tobacco as having a drying or moistening effect (e.g., Dominican Olor is dry, while San Vincente is wet, etc.). It seems like the majority of smokers are spitting, though.

If you’re like a sprinkler head when you smoke cigars, our advice to reduce saliva is to: 1) smoke slower, 2) don’t chew on your cigar (chewing is a definite saliva stimulator), and 3) maybe test out milder sticks. Of course, you may do all these things and still have to spit nonstop. If that’s the case, we say just embrace it and go for distance. You may even make the big leagues someday and become a competitive spitter (cherry pit spitting is the current hot trend in spit sports).

Stay thirsty, my friends.

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