Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Coping with cigar aftertaste: No cure in sight for "chronic ashtray mouth"

Here's one for you. Thinking I might have a solution, I got an email from a relatively new cigar smoker who was concerned about the taste left in his mouth after smoking. He was quite clear that he wasn't referring to "the finish," but the taste that remained on his palate long after the cigar was out, which he described as "a liquefied-tar taste" that made his mouth feel like it had "been used as the ashtray."

"I have read many blogs and forums, offering various reactions from 'during, drink coffee,' to 'afterwards, drink something citrusy like Schweppes Bitter Lemon or tonic water,' to 'embrace your cigar-breath - get used to it!'," he wrote. Apparently, he tried all of the above with little or no relief, and added that it may have to do with how taste buds vary from person to person. (I'm also inclined to believe it has more to do with physiology.)

In my reply I told him that I've experienced "ashtray mouth" myself on occasion, but most often I'm just trying to get rid of the taste of a bad cigar. I've tried everything from drinking lemonade, to mints, to chocolate bars, to rinsing with mouthwash. Mouthwash actually seems to work pretty well, but not the Scope or Listermint kind. I like Tom's of Maine. It's natural, has no alcohol, and leaves a nice fresh taste in your mouth. I also use a tongue scraper each night after brushing (there's an image for you), but by then, any trace of tobacco taste from earlier in the day is usually already gone.

My office roommate and co-copywriter, Hayward says, "Just plain eat something. Chewing spearmint gum also does the trick for me."

Although there may be no cure for cigar smokers who suffer from chronic ashtray mouth, at least there are some ways to alleviate it.

Your thoughts?

5 comments:

Reverend Jeff said...

In regards to "ashtray mouth" and how to rid yourself of it, I always eat an apple after enjoying a cigar. The acidity of the apple juice and chewing the fruit itself seems to work for me. The kind of apple doesn't matter.
Spearmint gum is good too, but I've found the "mouth freshening" kind, like Orbit, works best.
Hope this works for you.
Rev. J.

Mike D said...

Try not to draw so hard, I found this was what was causing the problem for me, after this it happens only from a really strong stick.

Gary Korb said...

I like the idea of eating an apple afterwards. Think I'll give it a whirl. Thanks for posting.

MonkeyDan said...

Since I smoke at least three sticks a day, I always have an ashtray mouth so it's not really an issue.

If I need a quick masking of ash mouth,Starbucks gum works the best.

Paul - Boston said...

Using a tongue scraper is probably the most effective method out there. As you smoke your cigar, the various tars and particles adhere to the ever present plaque on your tongue, retaining smell and taste for as long as this remains on your tongue.
So brush, scrape your tongue and rinse with Listerine or your favorite mouthwash. I usually do this before bed, then again in the morning with great results...keeps the wife happy!