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How Does the Cold Air Affect One’s Cigar Smoking Experience?

person holding a cigar outside in cold weather

Once the winter season comes around, the act of going outside, even for just a few moments, can become extremely unpleasant.  For cigar smokers who don’t or can’t smoke inside their own home, the thought of standing outside in the cold air just to enjoy a smoke can be daunting. 

Cold air actually affects our smoking experiences in more ways than one.  That is why we will be diving into these effects, and how to work around them if you wish to continue your cigar hobby throughout the chilly months of the winter season.


Tunneling is what happens when the inside filler of the cigar burns faster than the tobacco wrapper, creating a tunnel within the cigar.  It causes the cigar to burn unevenly and affects the quality of the smoke overall.  It’s more common during the winter months, for one simple reason: when we’re cold, we smoke faster, whether we realize it or not.  Our bodies are urging us to get back indoors where it is warm, and so we’re taking puffs more quickly, and taking larger puffs as well. 

Cigars are not meant to be smoked as quickly as possible.  They are meant to be savored.  Some will argue that rushing through a cigar is wasting a perfectly good smoke that could be saved for a better time, when you could really enjoy it.  How to remedy it?  Simple – do not smoke as fast. 

Brittle Cigars

Even novice collectors know that dry, cold air can damage the cigar itself.  The winter weather can dry out your cigar, causing it to be brittle, which can have numerous unwanted consequences when it comes to the smoke you’ll experience.  This is why it’s important that you keep your cigars indoors, in a humidor, during the winter.  Don’t leave that brand new cigar in the car, anticipating that you’ll be smoking it in just a few hours. 


Of course, the most unpleasant thing about smoking in the winter is the discomfort caused by the cold.  Cold weather can make smoking even the finest cigar deeply unenjoyable.  When our bodies are cold, our brain becomes focused on one thing, which is getting warmer.  This means that the pleasure sensors in our brain, along with our senses of taste and smell, become dulled, as all of our mental energy goes into survival mode.

What this means is that smoking a cigar when you’re in physical discomfort can directly interfere with your ability to enjoy the cigar itself.  This is why we recommend that you consider other options so that you’re not in the cold.  A lot of cigar smokers set up a temporary cigar lounge inside their garage or their shed, where all that’s needed is a comfy chair and an ashtray.  Others turn a deck into an enclosed space with screening, and a space heater. 

If neither of these are an option, you can find a cigar lounge in your area and turn that into your smoking refuge during the winter months.  Many will say that it’s worth the trip since it allows you to enjoy a cigar in a warm environment, where you don’t feel a sense of urgency to keep your body from getting too cold. 

Enjoy Your Stogie, Even in the Coldest of Conditions

While the cold winter air can make smoking a less pleasant experience, it doesn’t have to mean that you must give up your hobby for a large portion of the year.  There are ways to work around the various effects of smoking outdoors during the winter, as you can see.  These tips will help you enjoy satisfying smokes with minimal discomfort.

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