Written by Kevin Godbee

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

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Cigar Smoking Etiquette


I’m sure that the smell of cigar smoke has been a problem for some people almost from the time a match was applied to the very first cigar. History actually records England’s King James having a rant about cigar smoking back in 1604 and it seems that we’ve never quite managed to improve our image since then.



Some of us, by our very natures, like a little verbal combat now and again and it seems that nothing gets people more fired up than cigar smoke so if you like to verbally joust with those around you then light up wherever you are and whenever you feel like it. But please understand that the same time as you might be having fun and enjoying your cigar you’re actually giving the rest of us cigar smokers a bad name.


Many of us like some peace and quiet while we’re smoking our cigars and dealing with people who find offense with just the sight of an unlit cigar … because they’ve met less considerate cigar smokers … tends to destroy the enjoyment we might otherwise experience.


So let’s look at some reasonable suggestions for cigar smoking etiquette that will not only keep everyone else out there happy but will make for a less traumatic time for those of us who do enjoy a fine cigar.



In many places around the world smoking in restaurants, pubs and bars is prohibited. Now I know that you might think that sounds rather strange but it’s the law and when you’re in someone else’s country you obey their law so don’t light up where smoking is prohibited.


If you are in a place where smoking is allowed, make sure that you really are in the area set aside for smoking. Perhaps even ensure that you’re well within the smoking area rather than out on the perimeter. That might require a little forward planning but it’s better to plan ahead than to have an argument with someone who couldn’t handle your cigar smoke.


Sometimes it’s not ok to smoke outdoors. Yes, I know that seems a little unreasonable but there are places where smoking outdoors is either frowned upon or forbidden by law. So be aware that there can be restrictions on where you smoke even if you are outdoors.



Smoking at home or in your car

A recent study revealed that a very high percentage of car accidents involved people who were smoking while driving. I understand that most of us think that we’re great drivers and smoking couldn’t possibly interfere with the way we drive but let’s be honest here for a moment; hot ash can drop on our clothes or even our bare skin if we’re wearing shorts, smoke can get into our eyes and we can be distracted at the very worst possible moment.


So, maybe smoking and driving is something that should be avoided for your safety and for the safety of other road users.


Smoking at home can also be a very contentious issue. Once again there are some countries that have laws about smoking inside a private house … that may sound rather draconian but if you’re in those countries then it’s better to obey the law rather than run the risk of prosecution.


You might also find that the people you share your house with are not entirely happy about where you smoke your cigars. Be aware that not everyone in your family finds the smell of a fine cigar to be as pleasant as you do.


If that’s the situation that you find yourself in then be prepared to negotiate. You will note that I said ‘negotiate’ rather than ‘capitulate’. Talk about the problems that your cigar smoking may cause and try to find some middle ground where both you and the others will be happy.


There are always alternatives and you may find that there is a reasonable solution that will keep you and the others in harmony and that’s a far better situation than getting everyone offside simply because you weren’t prepared to give a little to get a little peace and quiet.



When there simply are no options and you’re banned from smoking your cigars at work or at home then look for places that you can go to enjoy your cigars that are outside of those forbidden areas. Are there cigar clubs in your area? Does the shop where you buy your cigars offer smokers a cigar room where they can go to enjoy the cigars they have purchased?


There are always alternatives and, while finding them may be a problem, if it means finding a place where you can enjoy your cigars then it really will be worth the effort.


It’s all about hearts and minds

Cigar smoking is something that you enjoy and something that many other people don’t and you need to understand and accept that. Sometimes sticking to your guns … demanding your rights … can give you some positive results in the short-term but negative results in the long-term and it’s not going to be helpful if you win a battle or two but ultimately lose the war.


So when it comes to cigar smoking and etiquette think long-term and win the hearts and minds of non-smokers by being reasonable and conciliatory. Look for win/win situations and everyone … including you … will be happy.



+1 # C'mon..Get up, Stand upC Hedrick 2009-07-24 05:49
I could not disagree with this article more. Look where taking the high road has gotten tobacco users in the past. Higher and higher taxes, fewer and fewer places to enjoy smoking, and the - as you put it - "dealing with people who find offense with just the sight of an unlit cigar". The tobacco industry has forever been tarnished by mistruths and a vehement opposition.

Does anyone remember what Liberty is? Anti-tobacco groups have done a masterful job of picking away at the industy instead of going after large chunks. We'd be wise to adopt the NRA's philosphy of not giving in to any type of opposition to our freedom. I, personally, can't think of a logical reason why anyone would need a bullet that can pierce four rhinos and a kevlar brick. But, the NRA's take is that if they can take that away from them then they can take anything away.

I hope that I conduct myself, when smoking, as I do in the rest of my life; with respect to others. However, I must demand respect in return. I simply will not tolerate someone trying to tell me I can't smoke in my car or house. This is my life, your life is yours, none of this will matter to us as individuals in a hundred years. But, it does set a very dangerous precedent for our future generations. I'm already hearing of soda pop taxes, restaurant codes for cooking oils, HOT DOG WARNING LABELS - for God's sake!

This is bigger than cigars and being "kind" to others.

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0 # Right On C Hendrick...J Pittman 2009-08-16 13:11
The nature and lifestyle of cigar smoking is not/nor has it ever been one of offensive or criminal behavior. I am a father of four and I will NOT let someone take away my personal rights (on my property or in my car). We - cigar smokers - must be respectful but realize that if we are WEAK in our fortitude about this issue we will continue to let articles like this be written in a PRO CIGAR electronic media publication.

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