Why Cigar Competitions Don’t Make Sense to Me

Why Cigar Competitions Don’t Make Sense to Me
Date: June 2024
Author: Inspector X

I’m regularly invited to cigar competitions or read about them. I am asked to write about these competitions, judge them, and I’ve even been asked to organize them. However, I  can’t appreciate  a competition involving smoking cigars, whether it’s a local long ash competition or the global CSWC (Cigar Smoking World Championship) aka slow smoke.

Personal Reasons for Smoking Cigars

For me, there are two main reasons to light up a cigar. First, as a tool to relax after a stressful day or when I need to write a story. Cigars help me concentrate and focus on the task at hand. Second, to socialize with friends or like-minded people who also enjoy cigars. Essentially, it’s a tool for relaxation.

I am also not a competitive person, so perhaps that’s why I don’t understand the eagerness to compete over anything, especially something that isn’t meant to be competitive in my opinion.

Competition vs. Relaxation

Competition is the opposite of relaxation. Competing releases adrenaline, induces stress, and in my humble opinion, contradicts what a cigar represents. It’s particularly puzzling when you see how seriously some people take these competitions. They train all year round with the right cigars under the right circumstances. Recently, there was a significant cheating incident at CSWC in Greece where it was discovered that the winner relit his cigar under the table. He was disqualified, banned for life, and lost his reputation within the cigar community. It seems absurd to be shamed over a cigar competition. This incident illustrates how some individuals take it too seriously, sometimes going too far.

Appreciation for Cigar Events

Despite my lack of understanding of using cigars as a means to compete, I do love these events. They bring together like-minded, social cigar smokers for an afternoon or night of fun. We need more gatherings of cigar smokers to protect ourselves against the ever-growing government overreach on tobacco. The more connections we have, the stronger we are as a collective. However, the most important aspect of these events is meeting new cigar smokers. The new BOTL (Brother of the Leaf) or SOTL (Sister of the Leaf) you meet today can become your best smoking buddy tomorrow.

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