In the TED Talk titled “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong ,” British journalist Johann Hari discusses the available research into the underlying causes of addiction and concludes that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.

This makes perfect sense for the family of the leaf as we’re not addicted as one would think so much to a substance but with the connection of whom we share premium cigars with. Tobacco (with additives) addiction causes strangers to huddle up around lamp posts and picnic tables in 12 degree weather in the rain and snow. A cigar lifestyle connection causes patrons to gather and organize in leather-seated lounges and on finished patios for hours at a time in comfort and harmony.

There’s nothing to fight when it comes to the cigar lifestyle, only several things to embrace. Embrace the conversation, the people watching, the music, the silence, the vibe, the chatter, the laughter, the relationship. To these I’m addicted. I admit it! To nicotine, not at all, because I choose when I want to enjoy it, it doesn’t tell me that I need it. I choose what the optimum conditions are for me to have a great experience…time, regulated temperature, the company I keep, libation or not. If the conditions are not right or the day doesn’t permit, we wait. We wait because there’s control, not an artificial chemical dependency. We choose because cigars are a tool, not a crutch…a luxury, not a burden.

Don’t fight the urge to experiment with the cigar lifestyle. Jump in and stay. It’s the opposite of addiction, it’s connection. Connection that brings about peace, tolerance, relationship and education. Because of this, we actually need to expand it, encourage it, and not stifle it by lumping it in with Marlboros and Black and Milds.