Beware the ides of March and welcome to beer/cigar review Wednesday. Unfortunately I still have nothing really new to review, so for today we’re just going to take a look at another aspect of a couple of my favorite things: namely the health effects.
Let me be perfectly clear here: I know alcohol and cigars aren’t the healthiest things for you. Whereas the former has some heart health benefits in moderation, there’s practically nothing good for you about cigars. I know this. That said, the way I see it is everything is a tradeoff.
I am what most would consider a fairly heavy drinker (my normal is about 3-4 standard drinks/day given I prefer higher ABV beers and higher proof Scotch) an a light to moderate cigar smoker (no more than 1-2 cigars/day). I am not dependent on either alcohol nor nicotine and can and have laid off of them if the situation required me to do so.
For me, my love of beer, Scotch and cigars is more about the flavors, the relaxation and the overall experience. I have my alcoholic beverages of choice and my cigars for that reason only. Sure, the psychoactive effects of the alcohol and nicotine are part of the experience and rounds out the package but that isn’t my primary purpose.
Even so, I realize that I am taking somewhat of a risk here, but it is a very calculated risk. I’m very well aware that I am increasing my risk of certain cancers (oral, stomach, etc.) as well as my risk of cirrhosis and such. I also know that alcoholic beverages are high in calories (something I am mindful of and adjust for in my daily food intake). That said, when you step back and think of it, which is worse for you? Alcohol and cigars or stress? I think even most doctors would agree that stress is many times worse for your health. Stroking out, heart attacks, high blood pressure and even mental illness can come about due to excessive level of stress.
Hence, a calculated risk. My daily drink(s) and cigar(s) go a long way to reducing my stress levels and though I drink more than the recommended daily amount of alcohol I don’t go absolutely crazy and I don’t smoke enough cigars for it to have that substantial of an effect on my health (actually even the FDA has admitted 1-2 cigars per day has a negligible effect on health) so I’ll gladly take my chances with my vices.
So yes, enjoy your alcoholic beverages of choice and cigars/pipes in moderation, savor the experience and reap the overall net health benefits of reduced stress.
With that, time to go pour a dram and light up. Cheers, everyone!