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Cigars 102: Damaged Cigars

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

In this section, we will discuss damage to cigars that occur due to environmental changes and manufacturer issues. We will touch on damage occurring during shipping with a quick and simple answer, notify the shipper immediately, take lots of photos, and document for replacement. Most online shops will replace them very quickly.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s ask the questions. What causes my cigars to split? Why does the wrapper flake off when I touch it? Why is the wrapper unraveling? How do I prevent or fix this? Most of the answers are very simple. Let’s Begin!!


Splitting can occur when the tobacco is exposed to a sudden change in temperature and humidity; I like to call this “Cigar Shock.”. Here is an example, taking a cigar from an environment where we have low temps and high humidity. We’ll give it a value of 65 degrees F and 75% RH, we will take that cigar into an environment of 80 degrees F with 50% RH, and we light! The membrane and cell structure will expand with the rise in temperature, add that with a tight wrapper, and we will see it tear. Can we fix this? The answer is yes, but it will depend on the location and length of the tear. Using either honey or cigar glue, which is a natural pectin, can repair the issue. Keep in mind; you will have to allow the product to dry before smoking. Prevention is best, first, try to get the temperature of the humidor as close to optimal as possible, I like 70-75 degrees in the summer, and 67-70 degrees in the winter, (northeast). Next, place the cigar in a high-quality cigar box, and place the box in the environment in which you will be enjoying the cigar. I like to smoke in my living room, I

age my cigars at 72% RH, but I like to smoke them at 65%, I’ll place the cigar in the box in the morning, and by the afternoon, my cigar will be ready to smoke! I have just tempered the cigar, no tearing or splitting!

Wrapper Flakes:

Sounds like a bowl of cereal to me!! But what does this mean? When a wrapper flakes off, this usually means the cigar is too dry. Ever take a handful of dried leaves and crushed them in your hands? They crumble and flake, well it’s the same process. Can you fix this? You can try and rehydrate the cigar, but you really can’t replace the damaged wrapper, and you can’t regain the precious oils that were lost. The best is to prevent this in the first place. Make sure your humidor is set for the best environment for the cigars.

Prevention…. See a pattern yet??

And Finally, the unraveling:

Yes, very must like a horror movie; this is when the wrapper unravels from the binder. There are two common causes for this, one is cutting the cigar improperly, as in below the cap. The

other is a mistake by the manufacturer. Either way, they both suck and are a pain when you’re trying to enjoy a premium stick. As stated above, this can be rectified using either honey or cigar glue, but be warned, use it sparingly and allow the product to dry before smoking. There are a lot of products out there that can help repair cigars, but prevention is key. At least for those issues we have control over.

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