YQMA Follow Up: Cigars making you sick

Your Questions, My Answers9 Comments on YQMA Follow Up: Cigars making you sick

YQMA Follow Up: Cigars making you sick

Back on Your Questions, My Answers (YQMA) Episode 29, Jon asked us why cigars can make you sick after smoking. His question can be streamed below.

Jon’s Question

During the show Brian and I stated that we felt it was an issue with Blood Sugar. We also asked that if anyone in the know was listening in, could they help us out a bit.

Not long after the request I received an email from Darren, who happens to be a biologist.



Love the site and video reviews. I’m a relatively new cigar smoker and have really enjoyed all the reviews and information.

I’m writing to you about the YQMA episode 29 where you guys were discussion the effects nicotine has on your body. I’m not a doctor but I do happen to be a biologist. So here goes…

When nicotine enters your blood stream it targets two main areas of the body, the central nerves system (CNS) and the adrenal glands. When nicotine interacts with the CNS it causes a release of dopamine. Dopamine gives you that feel good reward, making it so addictive. When the adrenal glands are targeted there are increased secretions of epinephrine. The epinephrine causes an increase in heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure and blood glucose.

The blood glucose is increased by the inhibition of insulin, the hormone that suppresses blood sugar. It also promotes cells in your body to secrete glucose. Insulin is regulated in two known ways. The first being the glucose content in your blood, but since this is hindered in the presence of nicotine the second becomes the important one. The second process is from glucose and protein receptors in your digestive tract. Basically these are there so that your body knows glucose is coming so it can get a head start on regulating your blood sugar. This is why eating something or eating a candy will help you out with the adverse affects of nicotine, because it will start leveling out your blood sugar.

I hope that explained something…If something wasn’t clear feel free to message me back,


enjoying cigars since 2005

9 thoughts on “YQMA Follow Up: Cigars making you sick

  1. That makes a lot of sence as I am able to smoke most not all full bodidied cigars on an empty stomach but its when I am drinking coffee with sugar. Maybe that helps I dont know or else my tolerance is high. I do get sick from some sticks though emply stomach or not. The sugar tip is nice as it seams a good way to battle the sickness if it comes. Thanks for the info.

  2. This is a great description of the physiology associated with nicotine.

    for the same reasons mentioned…I have found that drinking a soda (Coca Cola) quickly relieves the feeling. Probably because of the high sugar content.


  3. Hmmm. I’m not so sure. The assumption seems to be that it’s the nicotine that’s making you sick. But if you’re getting enough nicotine to make you sick, and that doesn’t happen with cigarettes (at least, not that I can recall from years ago), then why aren’t cigars *more* addictive than cigarettes, rather than far less (mostly not at all)? I can’t imagine that just because you inhale the one and not the other you somehow avoid the addicting but not sickening properties of all that nicotine. But I don’t have better theory. Any doctors in the house?

  4. I’m not a doctor but, I do have some thoughts on this. Cigarettes are inhaled and nicotine as well as a butt load of added chemicals are absorbed much more quickly than a cigar. This gives a different buzz as well as a higher absorption of nicotine. Also, people who smoke cigarettes typically have a systematic way of smoking. For example, immediately after a meal, sex, break from work…you get the picture. Most cigar smokers usually have the intent of enjoying a cigar, rather than relying on a cigarette to give them the relaxation and buzz it will give them.

    Back to the nicotine part. I once heard from a doctor that cigars being natural tobacco without additives, and the way it is process compared to cigarettes, actually contains less nicotine. The main reason is actually the aging process. Before a quality handmade cigar is rolled, the tobacco is cured and fermented to release impurities and ammonia from the tobacco leaves. Once the process is completed and the cigars are rolled, they are still aged. Futhermore, a well aged cigar will contain less nicotine that a fresh one. Comparing this to the process of a typical cigarette, the tobacco is immediately fire cured and cut and mixed with tobacco byproduct for its filler. Not much is done to take out impurities because it is not efficient to the industry and they just put more crap in it anyways.
    Hope that answers it, I kinda took it far.

  5. great information and responses. I actually have some sugar bubes laying around and oncein a while when I get a harsh nicotine buzz or my stomach starts churning, I pop a sugar cube and it takes care of the problem. Just a thought…

  6. I did a little poking around and did find one interesting alternative theory: saliva. When smoking a cigar, one is putting a tobacco leaf in direct contact with the lips, and with each puff you tend to hold a large volume of smoke in the mouth far longer than when smoking cigarettes. Therefore when you swallow, the level of nicotine in your saliva is much higher than otherwise. The theory is that it is this delivery of nicotine-laced saliva to the stomach that makes you nauseated. This does explain the difference between cigarettes and cigars, as well as why drinking or eating something while smoking mitigates the sickening effect. “Spitters” also claim to not get sick while smoking cigars due to this (insert adjective of your choice here) habit.

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