For the uninitiated, the biggest mystery of the cigar world is why do I need a humidor? Cigar smoking is a hobby that takes time and experience to appreciate. The cigar may seem like any other product or more specifically any other tobacco product at first blush.
Therefore, it is hard for some to see at first why one would need anything as complicated sounding as a humidor for cigar smoking. One might think you have never heard of a cigarette storage device, and it’s the same thing, right?
Smoking tobacco is smoking tobacco. It is just like a cigar smoker to claim that you need a special box that other lesser smokers don’t need because cigars are so special.
Why are Cigars Different?
But a little explanation should cure those doubts. First of all, cigars are different. Secondly, a humidor is not that complicated. Thirdly, a humidor is not absolutely essential to every cigar smoker, but it is recommended.
In a premium, higher end, fine cigar the whole cigar is made of tobacco. Cigars are made with filler tobacco just like any other smoking device. The difference is that cigars are wrapped in a binder leaf of tobacco and a wrapper leaf of tobacco as well.
So unlike a cigarette, which is wrapped in a paper compound, the whole cigar is tobacco. Therefore, the whole cigar is perishable and can dry out much easier than a cigarette.
A humidor is a simple device that maintains the humidity of the atmosphere surrounding the cigars inside it. The humidor keeps the cigar tobacco from drying out and becoming stale.
Most humidors achieve this through having a sealed box that contains a humidity controlling mechanism. This is simpler than it sounds, because most humidors use a simple sponge.
The sponge is filled with water (usually distilled water) and the sponge reacts to the humidity levels in the humidor by either absorbing any excess moisture in the humidor, or releasing moisture into the air inside the humidor. This serves to maintain the quality of the tobacco and depending on the cigar, actually increases the quality of the cigar by allowing the tobacco to cure and age properly.
Who Needs a Cigar Humidor?
A cigar smoker who buys a cigar the day he plans to smoke it will not need a humidor. A cigar smoker who smokes machine made cigars that are not wrapped in tobacco leaves does not need a humidor. A cigar smoker who cannot tell the difference between a stale cigar and a good cigar does not need a humidor. But anyone who cares about the quality of his cigars and keeps a bulk amount or collection of cigars for later use will need a humidor.