There are many differences between cigars and cigarettes. The main difference is in how long it takes to smoke. Smokers finish a cigarette in about a quarter of an hour while cigars can be smoked for hours. Cigars also average five inches in length while cigarettes are only about an inch long. Cigars can have filters which takes up some of this length, but most cigar smokers prefer unfiltered cigars.
Another main difference is in the tobacco used in making these smoking products. It is the nicotine in tobacco that a smoker craves, but connoisseurs will also be able to quickly differentiate the different tastes and smoothness of different types of tobacco. Although the tobacco plant originated in North and South America, it is now grown in many parts of the world.
Wrappers on Tobacco Leaves
Cigars are made with an entire leaf of dried tobacco holds the leaves together while cigarettes use shredded and chopped tobacco leaves. Different qualities of cigars have different fillings. Wrapping leaves are strong enough to hold a much less expensive filler of chopped tobacco leaves. Wrapper leaves are sorted from filler leaves before the rolling process starts. Low quality cigars have wrappers made from mashed tobacco pulp, which makes a tough paper when dried.
In order to hold the tobacco leaves, cigarettes use paper in the same way that volcano bags hold vaporized smoke. Cigars do not have these paper wrappings but do use bands. Bands are mostly to advertise the brand and sometimes include a bar code if they are to be sold separately and not in boxes. Cigar bands and boxes do not hold the cigar filler tobacco together. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were many collectors of these cigar bands and cigar boxes.
Smokers of cigars are smoking almost pure tobacco leaf while cigarette smokers also smoke the paper and any flavors or additives that the manufacturer puts in. It is much easier to put new flavors in cigarettes than in cigars because of the manufacturing process. These flavors include sugars, which take up about 10% of the cigarette filler. Other flavors and additives include licorice, mint, fruit juice, coffee, dried fruit or chocolate.
Cigarettes also contain humectants, or chemicals which help keep the tobacco leaves and dust dry. The most commonly used humectants are glycerol and propylene glycol. Filtered cigarettes contain tiny filters made from cellulose acetate. Additives in cigars vary depending on how they are made. Hand-rolled cigars do not have additives, but some machine-made cigar brands will have flavors and additives.