I am here to deliver a message—brutally unpopular as it may be with many, but certainly on the money with the readers of this fine blog page. It’s a secret that we Brothers of the Leaf have literally known for centuries. And even though what I am about to state may be my own humble opinion, I am willing to risk ridicule and damnation to stand up for one of the greatest passions I have ever known in my entire life.

I am here to certify that smoking fine cigars is, without a doubt, good for you!

I realize my brazen remarks fly smack into the face of conventional wisdom… but conventional wisdom once told us that the earth was flat, man could not fly, the Russians were evil, and so on, and so on…. To that I say, feh! (And, may I digress to state that I have still never tasted orange zest, marzipan, or roasted venison in my Montecristo?)

Listen again as I say it loud and say it proud: The act of smoking fine cigars is good for you—good for the mind, good for the soul, and an absolute benefit to the human condition. A good cigar is a best friend in your moments of reflection, a calming influence when the brain is frenzied, and a stimulating boost when your battery has run low. In the words of British Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon, a highly influential Christian leader in Great Britain during the mid 1800s, “When I have found intense pain relieved, a weary brain soothed, and calm refreshing sleep obtained by a cigar, I have felt grateful to God, and have blessed His Name.”

I proclaim that the mental effects of cigar smoking bring forth relaxing benefits that no $300-an-hour shrink can provide. A savored nightly smoke delivers the mental tranquility that is absent from a long, hard day at work. The rich aroma of a finely aged blend, and the physical act of drawing that heavenly first puff can truly put one into a happy place that no horse-pill tranquilizer could ever provide. And, most amazing of all, the physical body follows suit, as your nerves calm and your breathing slows to a healthier pace. All the foibles and pratfalls of daily life seem to drift magically away into a blue swirl of bliss. The mind/body connection has never been so evident to me then after partaking in a handrolled cigar. Oh yes, I will state my case again, that cigar smoking just may be the remedy to what ails you.

So, who am I to make such a demonstrative assertion? What credentials do I retain that qualify me to declare such outrageous pomposity? You’re right if you assume that I possess no MD or PhD. (and I’m guessing you don’t either!). If you have never reveled in the ritual of a post-dinner puro, then how can you disclaim my words? And this is just an observation, but when I attend smoking bars and private clubs, I witness so many doctors relaxing with fine cigars and enjoying themselves. And that is a fact.

I didn’t just make this stuff up. If you Google “cigar quotes” you’ll find a plethora of statements, much like Reverend Spurgeon’s, made by lauded poets, novelists, and great people of history who have found the cigar to be the secret ingredient to a long and wonderful life. What we must keep in mind is that the likes of George Burns (100), Sigmund Freud (83), Winston Churchill (90), J.P. Morgan (75), Groucho Marx (86), Thomas Edison (84), and Mark Twain (74), all smoked an astounding fifteen to twenty cigars per day for close to half a century… apiece! (A spritz of Febreze anyone?) Oh… and, just in case you wondered, those numbers in parentheses? The ages that each of them lived to be.cigars are good doctor

Of course I do believe that, in this day and age, moderation is an important factor in sustaining a healthy lifestyle. A hundred years ago people weren’t dealing with the pollutants in the air, water, and food that we face today. It has been stated that these factors combined with smoking can escalate any possible physical ailments that could arise in a person. So, while it has been pointed out that many great men throughout history have smoked an abundance of daily cigars, let me be clear that I am not advocating that type of behavior for today. Red wine has been lauded as good for your heart and a glass per day is suggested. However, polishing off a bottle per night would most likely have your liver pickled in no time. Olive oil is supposedly great for your cholesterol, but pouring an entire jug onto your salad will probably send you off to worship to the porcelain god. Moderation is key. I generally smoke one cigar per day, sometimes two, sometimes none. For me, it is always at night, and often while gathering with a good friend or two. We who enjoy our stogies know that there is something amazing about the effects of communal bonding with other cigar lovers. But, whether alone or in good company, be your choice a Habana, Dominican, Nicaraguan, or Honduran, I maintain that the act cigar smoking—in moderation— can have profound benefits to one’s overall longevity.

Whether it was spoken one hundred years ago or only yesterday, the feelings and the emotions are all the same. Cigars are a definite “state inducer,” putting you in a better frame of reference after you have a smoke. And when we are in a “good” state, doesn’t life take on a newer meaning? In those rare moments of clarity, aren’t we able to view our so-called “problems” as mere trivial nonsense and place our focus upon the fine things that life has to offer? Absolutely. In times that our minds and bodies are calm, we are healing, and sense is made of things that, perhaps just hours before, seemed impossible. Creative ideas pop into your head with greater ease. Answers to problems unmask themselves before your very eyes! And you sleep well, which is an absolute pleasure, and wake up ready to take on what life throws your way. All because of a cigar, you ask? Yeah, all because of a cigar.

Contrary to what the rabid antis seem to believe, no one is advocating that anyone smoke himself into a stupor. But we who enjoy our puros have known all along about the wondrous effects a good smoke can bring. I think the point I’m getting at is that we take it for granted. It’s our routine, our ritual—one that we’ve performed for so long that we don’t think about the benefits it gives us; we just light up. And if you think about it, that’s the way it should be. But with the antismoking movement gathering greater force every single day, we really cannot take our beloved stogies for granted any longer. We have got one hell of a fight ahead of us, fellas.

Maybe you’re enjoying a great stogie while reading these words. But, if not, just let your mind’s eye picture your favorite spot to smoke. Envision snipping, then applying flame to, that beautiful handrolled work of art. Smell the toasting tobacco dance through your nose, taste that first draw, and blow out that thick, swirling puff of delicious smoke. Even without a real cigar in my presence, I sense it so clearly, as I’ve done a thousand times before. Other than lovemaking or enjoying an exquisite dinner in an unforgettable place, smoking a fine cigar is one of the most sensual things you can do in life. It cigars are good meditationis a pleasure so vital to our well-being that we must do whatever it takes to keep our pastime alive and well.

I hope I’ve made a great case for Brothers of the Leaf everywhere. I hope I’ve made you reflect on a joyous part of our lives that brings us relaxation, peace of mind, and great satisfaction in a world where not much else can bring those things to fruition, day in and day out. Cigar smoking is wonderful. It is important. It is meditative and beneficial. It is so incredibly special.

Let me once again proclaim that cigar smoking is a soothing stress reliever and a valuable part to the sanctity of one’s life. The simple act of cutting and lighting becomes an anchor, and that first whiff of toasted tobacco sends us to a place of sheer nirvana that no pharmaceutical company could ever concoct.

And here, I rest my case. Cigar smoking is good for you.