Cigar Smoking Etiquette

Cigars are a pleasure that should be enjoyed properly. Smoking a cigar takes time, consideration and a basic knowledge of what you should be doing. Here are some of the basic elements of correct cigar smoking etiquette you should know and understand.

Table of Contents

Cigar Dos

Warm the foot of the cigar before starting to puff on it. This doesn’t necessary mean toasting it under a flame, but it can simply mean rolling it gently in your fingers, allowing your natural body heat to slowly warm the foot.

Carefully remove the band after lighting the cigar; it should only take a minute for the gum on the cigar band to be sufficiently warm to remove the band with ease. This is a rather old and archaic rule, it has now become optional in most circles.

Take your time when smoking your cigar, a puff a minute is about right. Smoking a cigar is an experience that should be savoured, not a chore. There is no need to wildly puff on your cigar, as allowing it to cool for a moment won’t be long enough for it to self-extinguish.

Allow the cigar to die a dignified death, after it is smoked half way, it will go out on its own. In the modern day, most men will smoke their cigars until there is only ¼ left. A cigar isn’t supposed to be smoked down to the foot, and the shorter you go, the harsher the smoke will be.

Dispose of a dead cigar discreetly and quickly. Just as a thoughtlessly thrown cigarette butt is a very distasteful sight, there isn’t a reason to keep a cigar once it is extinguished. Discreetly dispose of it and carry on.

Cigar Don’ts

Touch the flame directly to the foot of the cigar, simply rotate it around the edge instead, until it begins to burn, and then puff on it lightly. The goal here isn’t to set the cigar on fire, it is to toast it just enough to highlight to beauty in the breath of silver smoke.

Light your cigar too slowly or too fast. This is part of the experience of smoking a fine cigar, relish in it. Take you time to enjoy the lighting process but don’t stall or pause throughout it. It should be a continual toast, but with caution and your undivided attention.

Put your cigar in your mouth to light it. This is simply poor manners. Hold the cigar in your fingertips, gently rotating it as you lightly toast the end with your lighter.

Wet the end of your cigar. Refrain from chewing or slobbering on it either. You’re not a dog, and a fine cigar is not a bone. There is no need to wet the cigar unless it is burning unevenly and if that’s the case, you can simply moisten your finger tip and then dab the affected area to slow the burn.

Smoke too quickly. Smoking a cigar isn’t a sprint race, it’s a casual stroll through a relaxing park. Enjoy it. There’s no rush, and if there is then you probably shouldn’t be smoking a cigar in the first place.

Ever using a cigar holder. This isn’t a cigarette, and you’re not trying to embody Cruella DeVille. Smoking a cigar relies on all of your senses, including touch. You want to feel the cigar in your hand, this is key for feeling if it is beginning to burn too hot or if the leaves are fragmenting at all.

Dipping it in brandy or port. This bad habit is associated with Winston Churchill, and just because he made this faux pas doesn’t mean you should too. Cigar makers spend years perfecting the flavour profile that they want you to experience. If you cannot handle the taste of the cigar, or don’t enjoy it, then don’t smoke it.

Melissa Rogers

Melissa Rogers