Here are six quick tips to deal with a nic hit from a cigar or pipe:
- Choose more mild cigars
- Stay hydrated and keep hydrating
- Don't smoke on an empty stomach
- Take your time
- Don't inhale
- Have some sugar
There’s nothing fun about a dizzy spell or nausea, especially when spurred by what was supposed to be a leisurely activity. Unfortunately, this can often be the disruptor to the tranquil delight of relaxing with a tobacco pipe or enjoying a cigar. Luckily, there are ways to avoid the nic-hit dizzies and to counteract the sickly feeling when it occurs.
Many variables factor in to how each of us experiences nicotine. It’s not unlike how one may be more susceptible to intoxication than another based on their body type or tolerance. With nicotine, studies even suggest that some are more genetically predisposed to the dizzying effect, finding that those who report dizziness are more likely to have a particular genetic variation. However, just as with alcohol intake, much is in our control, and we can set ourselves up for a positive, ail-free experience if we approach cigar smoking responsibly.
Here’s a list of 6 things you can do to ward off cigar sickness and set yourself up for the best smoking experience.
1. Choose More Mild Cigars
When a cigar is full bodied, that means it has a higher nicotine content, or “nic-hit.” Naturally, for those with less of a tolerance to nicotine, this can lead to an adverse reaction. If you’re new to smoking, or only partake on occasion, it’s difficult to know where your tolerance is at. Start with mild-bodied cigars, from there you can work your way up to stronger blends as you navigate/develop your tolerance.
2. Start Hydrated and Keep Hydrating
It’s always a good idea to be mindful that we’re drinking enough water—smoking or not. But it’s especially important that we’re coming to smoking well hydrated. Also, it’s never a bad idea to have some water with you as you smoke.
3. Don’t Smoke on an Empty Stomach
So, you have a couple drinks, well under the amount it usually takes to get the ol’ tie loose, but you realize you’re already two buttons down. Then your error dawns…” wait, when was my last meal?”
It’s happened to the best of us. Well, nicotine isn’t much different. Smoking a cigar on an empty stomach is going to make the nic hit that much more potent, and you’ll be far more vulnerable to cigar sickness. Make sure you’ve had a recent meal when you smoke. It’s also a good idea to keep a snack on you, especially something sugary, as sugar can have a counter effect on the nicotine buzz.
4. Take Your Time
Keep a slow pace. The influx of nicotine from puffing too fast doesn’t give your body the chance to process and adjust quickly enough.
Additionally, this is how you’ll get to really experience the flavor, keep a good even burn, and simply relax. A good smoke is all about the respite, slowing down and taking things in. Sickness aside, this should be your goal for the sake of getting the most out of your cigar, but the effectiveness of a moderate pace in warding off the dizzies is one more testament to the importance of taking your time.
5. Don’t Inhale
There’s not a whole lot to say about this, it’s the golden rule of cigar and pipe smoking. You should just be allowing the smoke to enter your mouth, sit on the palate for a moment, and releasing. Luckily, most of us will know right away if we’ve gone wrong in this regard. Be mindful of your draw so you can avoid the sickness and the coughing fit.
6. Have Some Sugar
Just like sugar can be useful for keeping nausea at bay, it can be a good antidote if you’re unfortunate enough to get the dizzies. As was said, a sweet nourishment can be good for this, but for something more direct, sugar packets are perfect. If you start to feel ill, knock back a sugar packet and wash it down with water. Often, this will counter the light headedness coming on.
3. Wolfgang Claussen, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons