Throughout the years, countless customs and unwritten laws have formed around smoking cigars.

Whether it’s your first time walking into a cigar lounge or you’re trying to fit in at a party in someone’s backyard, knowing the do’s and don’ts of smoking cigars can save you from some serious embarrassment.

Related: How to Choose Cigar

Why is cigar smoking etiquette important?

Being polite and showing some decorum helps ensure that everyone has a good time. from lighting your stick right to putting out your stogie, cigar etiquette covers every aspect of enjoying tobacco rolled in leaf form.

So be mindful of your behavior; show respect for others. you’ll quickly endear yourself to smokers at all levels of experience. and by adhering to these rules and traditions, you’ll grow into a refined and well-educated cigar smoker who represents our world like the classy individual you are.

You’re there to have fun like everybody else — this is one of america’s favorite pastimes after all. so learn the essential tips every smoker should know about how not to be an insensitive jerk while doing so.

Eight rules of proper cigar etiquette

We’ve compiled an extensive list of cigar etiquette rules to help guide you on your smoking journey.

Use a cigar cutter and lighter

You can’t start smoking until you cut off the cap or closed end of the cigar. use a proper cigar cutter such as a punch or v-cutter — don’t be tempted by sharp objects like swiss army knives or biting off caps, as both will mutilate your stogie (besides making you look like an amateur). plus they won’t cut cleanly which means tobacco loss uneven burn etc etc etc..

When lighting your cigar don’t ask someone else to light yours — bring your lighter! most people won’t mind lending their lighter but if they do then too bad for them because now they’re stuck with lending their lighter! only light your cigar with a lighter, matches, or cedar spill — don’t use a candle because the aroma particles may ruin it.

Take the time to toast your cigar correctly as well. keep the flame off the foot of the cigar (too close and you’ll ruin your smoke) but close enough to char the tobacco (an inch or two away from your lit lighter). slowly rotate it over the flame and be patient; eventually, the foot will take on an orange-red glow – blow gently on it so that heat is evenly distributed across its surface area etc etc etc..

Oh also if you did borrow someone else’s lighter then give it back when done using it.

Take your time smoking a cigar

Smoking cigars is like running marathons not sprinting them there are no medals for finishing first and people don’t like it when you do either. smoking a cigar too fast is one of those common mistakes beginners make causes bitterness in mouth blah blah blah..

It is necessary to puff on your cigar only every minute or so. this ensures a consistent burn and allows the cigar to cool enough that it can provide its blend of aromas and flavors. cigars are meant to be enjoyed — beginners should keep a glass of water nearby for hydration.

Don’t dunk your cigar

Cigars can be paired with anything from coffee and cocktails to a single malt scotch. winston churchill used to dip his stogie in brandy between draws while he was prime minister of great britain during world war ii. but please, do not dunk your cigar into your drink; this won’t improve its flavor and will put ash into your cocktail. it can also draw too much moisture, which will plug the draw.

Infused cigars exist where flavor is added to a premium hand-rolled blend, providing a certain taste like coffee, chocolate or whiskey. however, master blenders have crafted your cigar for smoking — save your dunking for tea and biscuits.

Mind your ashes

Don’t try to set an ash record until you get ‘ashed’ — ash flakes and smudges on clothes are never attractive. while it does help keep the smoke cooler, the ash should never exceed an inch in length. when appropriate, gently tap your cigar into an ashtray rather than waiting for it to fall off on its own. if you tap too hard, it could explode onto your lap or someone else’s.

Tapping your cigar on the floor is just plain disrespectful. additionally, be aware of any furniture nearby — if you make a mess, clean it up.

Don’t stub out the cigar

Do not stub out your cigar when you’re finished or need a break; it screams amateur hour. it creates a mess and releases the unpleasant odor of smashed-out tobacco that others around you may not enjoy.

Instead, leave your lit cigar on the edge of the ashtray and let it extinguish naturally.

Don’t put the cigar in your mouth to relight it

Should you need to relight your cigar, the process should be the same as when you first lit it. it’s impolite to relight a smoke while it’s already in your mouth, so use your fingertips to hold the cigar and gently rotate it as you lightly toast the end with your lighter.

Don’t cut your cigar in half

Don’t be fooled — cutting a cigar in half may give you “two cigars,” but all of its expert construction will be undone. the size of the cigar matters, especially for beginners; choose something that you’ll finish.

If your cigar is too much at once, buy smaller next time — save your half-smoked stogie (see below) and resist cutting in two.

Don’t put a half-smoked cigar in your humidor

The question remains, what do you do with your half-smoked cigar? whether time has gotten away from you or you simply ran out of puff, it’s natural not to want to dispose of half a stogie — no matter how much it cost. it may not taste the same as when you first set fire to the foot, but it has another day in it.

Let your half-smoked stogie go out, cut the ash off and store it in a ziplock bag — for no more than a day ideally. the main thing is not to let it sit in your humidor/glovebox/purse/room for a few hours. a partially burnt cigar gives off an incredibly pungent aroma that will overpower any space.

Does cigar lounge etiquette differ?

Cigar lounges are great places where people can gather with like-minded individuals who want to step back from their hectic lives and enjoy a premium cigar. no matter where you smoke cigars, it is important to be considerate and understanding.

There are two main differences to be aware of when it comes to cigar lounge etiquette: dress code and bringing in outside cigars. some lounges have a dress code so be respectful and dress appropriately. all cigars sampled in a lounge should be bought in-house; don’t bring any from your collection or worse still, from another shop.

Most other rules and etiquette apply inside these sacred spaces as they do outside them. this could mean anything from not blowing smoke in someone’s face, right up to appreciating that everyone has different flavour profile preferences.

By following these tips on cigar etiquette, not only will you have a comfortable experience yourself but so too will those around you. smoking cigars may be personal but that doesn’t mean you can’t share the magic of an amazing smoke with others.

We hope this guide helps point you in the right direction during your debut lighting up. cigars are one of life’s finer things, so it pays to treat them as such.

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