Protecting Tobacco

Protecting Your Fine Cigars
Cigars are like any other plant product and will deteriorate over time if not properly cared for. As most cigar tobacco is grown in the Caribbean region, cigars do best in a tropical climate similar to the conditions under which they were created.
When a cigar is manufactured, it comes out of the factory with a 12-15% moisture content. Ideally, a cigar that maintains this moisture content from manufacturing to smoke will taste how it is intended to. Therefore, it is important that they are stored with some type of humidification and at a controlled temperature.  Proper storage is best achieved at conditions of approximately 68 degrees Fahrenheit and at 70 percent relative humidity.
The effects of having conditions vary wildly from this norm can be substantial. At cold temperatures or with too little humidity, cigars will dry out and be unsmokable. At temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or at high humidity levels, the tobacco beetle can hatch and begin boring its way through the cigar.
Effects of Temperature & Humidity
Air at different temperatures will hold completely different amounts of moisture. Warm air can hold a significant amount of moisture while cold air holds almost no moisture. As a general rule, when the air temperature is reduced from 68 degrees by one degree, the humidity should be increased by 1%, and vice versa. Therefore, if your cigars were stored at 58 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity should be kept around 80%.
A cigar that is dry will smoke:
• Hot
• Fast
• Unevenly
A cigar that is too moist will:
• Be hard to puff
• Allow mold to form
• The wrapper will swell and split open

Proper Cigar Storage
It is best to keep cigars in a humidor under conditions of approximately 70% humidity and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This provides the cigars with a mild, humid climate of the Caribbean where the cigars are made.
To achieve and maintain this climate, there needs to be a humidification device or humidifier , a humidity measuring device and a place to keep the humidor that is away from either too warm or too cool temperatures. Since the humidifier will dry out over time, it is very important to check the humidor’s moisture level frequently.
The following is the recommended humidity and temperature range for proper cigar storage:
• 70-75% Relative Humidity
• 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit
Considering the fairly narrow humidity and temperature ranges and the fact that the humidifier will dry out, the ideal solution to maintaining proper storage conditions for your cigars is a device that monitors both temperature and humidity and provides alerts when either is out of range.