On his radio show this morning, cigar aficionado Dennis Prager said, and this is very close to a verbatim quotation:
The purpose of a cigarette is nicotine. The purpose of a cigar is taste. All they have in common is tobacco and fire.
Not quite. Agreed, the main purpose of cigarette smoking is nicotine delivery, although some cigarette smokers, not many, care about taste. And it is also true that while cigarette smoke is inhaled, cigar smoke is not. Cigar smoke is tasted. But the ingestion of nicotine via the blood vessels in the mouth (take a look under your tongue, you will need a mirror for this) is also part of what the cigar aficionado is after. He is out for a certain characteristic 'lift' or 'high.' It is mild until you get to the end of the stick. Luftmenschen in particular like this lift. It powers their dialectic. And fiddling with the accessories of smoking gives them time to formulate responses to objections. Every man is a philosopher when he is blowing smoke.
But above the cigar stands, or lies, the pipe.
If the cigarette is a one-night stand, the cigar is a brief affair. The typical cigarette smoker is out for a quick fix, not for love. The cigar aficionado is out for love, but without long-term commitment. The pipe, however, is a long and satisfying marriage. But rare is the pipester who is not a polygamist. The practice of the pipe, then, is a long and satisfying marriage to many partners among whom no jealousy reigns.
This completes the first proof of the superiority of the pipe.