1.  Smoking Too Damn Fast!


Where's the fire pal? Well it's frickin' raging at the tip of your cigar when you smoke it too fast. Ya, I know it tastes good, but you're gonna ruin that goodness by giving it the Lewinsky treatment. 


Really hot fire will cause the tobacco to put out nasty flavors which, unless you're smoking a Swisher Sweet, are anathema to the whole point of smoking cigars in the first place.


Here's a tip...cigars are to be sipped, not chugged. That's why there are no "cigar-kegs" to do stands on. By taking a hit every 20-30 seconds, the coal will stay cool and properly unlock the seductive flavors you've paid your hard earned money to enjoy!


Hey, you're here to sit back, look cool, impress the ladies, and enjoy that stogie. You've earned it!


2. Cutting Off Too Much Of The Cap


Such a rookie mistake. You'd think some of these guys are at rabbi try-outs the way they treat their cigars. (And I'm Jewish, so I know.)


Let me tutor you like Master Yoda. Clip the cigar so that 1/8 in of the cap remains in place.  You don't need to lop off the whole butt. Just nip the tip. Your cigar should have a nice opening for the plumes of smoke you will soon extract. This should be surrounded by a small ring of cap-expertly cut like a Samurai warrior with 20/20 vision.


This will hold the wrapper on your cigar in place and KEEP IT FROM UNRAVELING!


There is no try...there is do or do not.


3. Lighting It Like A Chump


You know a cigar patsy by the way they light a stick up. (Prepositional phrase at the end of a sentence. Ya...that just happened!)


If I see someone who clips a cigar and immediately puts it in their mouth and tries to torch the end...I quickly try to sell em a bridge in Brooklyn. They don't have a freakin' clue.


First, it looks stupid. You can't see the end of the cigar, pal. You're looking at the thing cross-eyed trying to see whats-what down there. Marvelous way to make every lady smoker in the vicinity question your manhood.


Second, your gonna screw up your cigar.  Lighting it too fast will have the same effect as smoking it too fast. Its gonna wreck flavor and that's tragic.


Listen Patawan, after clipping, gently toast the foot of your cigar until evenly warm.  Not on fire! Just warm and toasty. After that, then insert into mouth...gently puff...and continue to evenly toast the end with fire. It will light within 10-15 seconds and all will be well.


Bonus: Be sure to never touch the flame to your cigar.  Keep it just off the flame so as not to char that beauty.  You gotta respect it!


4. Re-lighting It Like A Chump


It happens to us all. Outside on the deck smoking and the wife calls you inside to hold the baby, or take a phone call, or you get talking so much that your cig goes out on ya.


What to do? Most people knock the ash off and burn the living hell out of it to get it relit. And ya, it will relight but at what price?  FLAVOR! Thats the price.


Here's the secret to relighting a cigar so that maximum flavor is maintained. First, gently knock any excess ash off as best you can.  Second, toast the outer wrapper of the cigar until it kindles and glows.  Third and most important, blow OUT through the cigar, not back into your mouth.  I call this reverse puffing.  It should take 10-15 seconds of this before the wrapper lights the filler of the cigar. Now you can continue to puff your stick without it tasting like Kingsford Charcoal.


5. Tapping Somebody Else's Ash


Oh how I love the ash! It tells you so much about the cigar quality and its fun to watch grow! A gratuitous cigar ash may seem juvenile, but it's one of life's simple pleasures. So back off and don't try to steal my childhood!


But I digress, whether its bumping into someone's arm at a crowded herf, or sampling someone else's cigar (which is gross and not recommended) do make every effort to maintain and nurture their coveted ash.


I once had someone tap my cigar with their finger so as to ash my cigar for me...while I was holding it! Definitely a smoking faux pas that warranted serious repercussions.  I won't say what happened, but suffice it to say all options were on table. 


6. Being a Cigar Mooch


Are you this guy? Go drown yourself. Oh yeah, and maybe next time when we do lunch, why don't you try buying for once. Cheap ass!

Views: 832

Comment by Shaun Hoover on October 27, 2011 at 10:23pm
So much good stuff in this one. People won't know if you don't teach them. I once saw a crazy SOB tip the ash of another individual's cigar. It is the wrong thing to do and it is an awful thing to see.
Comment by Alex Rode on October 27, 2011 at 11:43pm

Interesting post. But we must remember that not everybody knows the proper etiquette. It is the right thing to do by teaching people, not by talking down to them (those who want to learn, not everyone does)


Tip to tell if you are smoking to fast; if the end of your cigar is coning, it means you are smoking it to fast. 

Before letting your cigar go out, gently blow through the cigar, to "Blow the smoke out" it helps to keep t from getting stale

Comment by Walter White on November 8, 2011 at 7:41pm

"Are you this guy? Go drown yourself. Oh yeah, and maybe next time when we do lunch, why don't you try buying for once. Cheap ass!"


Comment by itsme_timd on November 9, 2011 at 4:09pm

On #3, I was at an event with Carlos Fuente and he reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a cigar to smoke.  A guy next to him quickly tried to offer him a cut and a light.  He shrugged and waved his hand and then proceeded to bite the cap off the cigar and light it with a Bic lighter... without toasting the foot at all. <GASP!>  Although I've never been I've heard most of the guys in the factories carry a simple Bic lighter with them for sampling blends or even individual leaves.  I enjoy the ritual of lighting my cigar but short of dipping it in gas to light it I think most people make too big a deal out of it.  There are exceptions, like letting the sulphur burn off a match head, but in general it's not as sensitive as it's made out to be.

Comment by Shaun Hoover on November 9, 2011 at 4:24pm

To address the above comment.


Well Jr.

I don't think its a big deal how you light your cigars either. I think it's a big deal how I light my cigars. That being said, I think you should be able to light up your pouch of Backwoods any way you see fit. Enjoy!

Comment by itsme_timd on November 9, 2011 at 4:27pm

Well said Shaun, I think you actually helped make my point about people judging the way cigars are lit. ;-)

Comment by Kyle Hoover on November 9, 2011 at 4:35pm
I can definately tell a difference in the smoking experience if the cigar isn't lit properly. I think the point of the article is to NOT burn the foot of the cigar. I've used bic lighters, table top lighters, matches, cedar panks, you name it. It all turns out all right if you know how to toast the cigar and not burn the cigar. But that's just my opinion.

I think the overall point to be remembered is that smoking cigars is a pretty bad ass pastime:)
Comment by itsme_timd on November 9, 2011 at 4:39pm

Agreed Ben, cigars are pretty awesome. :-D

Comment by Michael Lucado on February 5, 2012 at 7:12pm

Number 5 is one of my pet peeves. Don't touch my smoke, it's mine. I know I have a three-inch-ash and I'll let it get to five if I want (stick willing). If you choose to ash your own cigar, please remember that this isn't your grandpa's Pall Mall, it's a fine piece of tobacco art and should be treated as such. Roll the ash off in the tray, don't tap and dunk. Act as though you have a little class, and soon enough you will.

Comment by Aaron Lee - BnB Tobacco on February 6, 2012 at 3:14pm

I've definitely done some of this. I have to admit, number 3 is one of my biggest problems. I tend to get excited and start lighting the cigar while it's in my mouth! 

Great article though!


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