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How Smoking a Cuban Cigar Made me Quit Tobacco.

Recently, a friend went to Cuba and came back with cigars. Monte Cristo cigars. Origino, unlike those chups you find masquerading around town. This was the Monte Cristo number 2, the only better one being the Monte Cristo 1. To be honest, I didn’t, and still don’t, know much about cigars so all this ‘humble’ bragging I’m doing is based on information supplied by said friend. I choose to believe him and I suggest you do too so you don’t end up being called a hater.

Being the good friend he is, he called me over to shoot a hip-hop music video with sigiri-hot vixens fighting for our attention while we sipped expensive liquor and smoked origino cigars. That’s what I thought we’d be doing anyway when I got the call. Instead, we smoked them from the backyard of his place, in the dark, while crickets and other night creatures provided background sounds. Basically, like teenagers sneaking out to experiment with cigarettes so they can brag to their friends at school. The picture above was taken from the dining room before we moved out to smoke so the smell wouldn’t stick to the curtains and fox a brother when his parents came to visit (hopefully they’ll never land on this post). And that’s not expensive liquor, it’s just apple juice. I really suck at the #BowWowChallenge.

Anyway, the point of this post is we smoked expensive cigars and it was…wait for it….meh! Such a bloody anticlimax. First off, they are shaped like dildos. Then, you cut off the part that looks like the head before you smoke it. As if circumcision. You then put the base in your mouth and light the circumcised part. All this imagery contributes to killing the FOMO for it.

Next, there are rules about smoking cigars. To begin with, you don’t inhale the smoke. Never. See, the difference between cigars and your usual cigarettes, besides the size and price, is that cigars are 100% tobacco, which cigarettes are not. Even the wrapping around the cigar is tobacco. And then they have this alcohol thing too were the longer you keep it, the better it gets. What better means in this case, I ronno. I say this because all you are doing with the cigar is inhaling the smoke, swirling it around your mouth and blowing it out. The 100% tobacco thing implies that if you inhale, you basically feed your body expensive concentrated cancer. It’s like finding a panya to the grave. So you don’t inhale. All you do is puff out that cancer to the people around you so they can passive smoke it while you look cool. You can’t even get high off the thing.

Now whereas I’m no advocate for drinking, I do appreciate expensive alcohol and why it is so. It’s smooth on the digestive organs, gives you a civilised height and most times, you wake up feeling fresh. Value for money. With cigars, I really failed to see the point. I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making it 100% tobacco and storing it right so it ages well, but that’s all sentimental and my sentimentalism is negligible. The entire cigar industry reminded me of diamonds and how the cunning people that control the industry have made them valuable through some very clever economics of demand and supply.

Smoking that cigar left a bad taste in my mouth, literally and figuratively. Despite the fact that most of my close friends at university were smokers, it never really caught on with me. And this wasn’t from a lack of trying. It became relegated to something I do when I was already tipsy on alcohol or was trying to hit on a girl who smokes.  It just failed to stick. Till Shisha came along with its pots and flavours. But even with Shisha, I never really went out of my way to smoke. I’ve probably bought like 5 shisha pots by myself in my history of shisha smoking. The rest of the times, I pretty much smoked from the pots of the proper smokers. A tapist, or is it tapper. I’ve read all the complaints against tappers but I didn’t stop doing it even when I could afford because, to me, it was a control mechanism of sorts. Get guilty about tapping and let your guilt stop you from regular smoking. But this self-denial meant that when a friend invited me to join, I’d overcompensate and pull on that thing like it was oxygen and I’d just survived drowning. But for the most part, it worked.

Standing there in that garden smoking that cigar, I decided to quit anything tobacco related altogether. As a vice, it just wasn’t worth it anymore. It hadn’t been for a while but being the semikolo I was, I’d continued forcing life. It was time to move on now. I’ll probably still do the occasional cigarette to bond with the hot girl who smokes or take a shisha puff for old times sake, but I’ve officially moved on from this vice.

That’s how my tobacco story ends. I’m curious to hear what yours might be…

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Written by Byagaba Roland

Roland is a random badman. He suffers from Mephobia.

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