Written by Kevin Godbee

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

User Rating: / 3

smoking etiquettetips and tricks
tobacco faqs

You may think that there’s absolutely no need to write an article about the very basics of smoking a cigar. After all, it’s a no-brainer isn’t it? You choose your cigar, you cut the end off it, you light it and then start puffing on it right?



Well those are the bare-bones of smoking a cigar, but if you really want to enjoy the experience then there is a lot more to it than just those very basic fundamentals and that’s where I’m going to take you today. So if you have never smoked a cigar before and definitely want to get the best out of your very first cigar-smoking experience then this article is for you.


And here I should say that you’re definitely not at a disadvantage if you have never smoked before. In fact the people who are at a disadvantage when it comes to smoking their first cigar are those who have smoked cigarettes because there is a vast difference between smoking a cigar and smoking a cigarette. While there are things that you do when you smoke a cigarette many of those things you would not want to do when you smoke a cigar.


So let’s make a start on those basics and, if you’ve smoked cigarettes in the past, let’s try and forget the habits that you picked up there.


Cutting a Cigar

The very first thing that you have to do when you smoke a cigar is to cut the cap off so that you have something you can light evenly. Now some people think that cutting the cap is simply a matter of finding a sharp knife or a pair of scissors and hacking the end off.


That is definitely not the way to go about cutting the cap off a cigar. What you do need is a purpose-made cigar cutter but when you use it you still must be careful about where you make the cut. Cut too much of the cap off and the cigar will come apart in your hands. Cut too little of the cap off and you won’t be able to light it evenly.


One method I’ve seen suggested for finding the sweet spot for cutting the cap is to place your cigar cutter on a flat surface and place the cigar upright on the same surface and in the jaws of the cutter. Close the jaws gently until they have left a mark on the cigar wrapper and that’s where the sweet spot is for cutting the cap.


When you’re ready to actually cut the cap make sure that you make the cut with a swift cut with firm pressure and don’t slow down or stop cutting till you have cut right through the cigar. If you use a more gentle pressure you run the risk of ending up with a cut that looks as though you chewed it rather than cut it.



While you can light a cigar with a match, that’s probably not the best tool to use. When you light a cigar you need to get the whole end of the cigar burning evenly and that’s going to be hard to achieve if you’ve had to resort to several matches to get your cigar lit.


Perhaps the best tool to use to light your cigar is a gas powered lighter, but don’t have it set to burn in such a way that all you get out the end of it is a blue flame. The yellow part of the flame is the best part to use to light a cigar, so make sure that there’s plenty of yellow flame to apply to your cigar.


And try not to be in a rush to get your cigar burning. Many cigar smokers recommend that you don’t puff on your cigar as you light it and some even go so far as to suggest that you shouldn’t have it in your mouth when you light it. Instead they suggest that you hold the lighter in one hand and the cigar in the other and roll the cigar around in your fingers while you apply the yellow flame from the lighter to the end of the cigar.


If you think that it’s not burning evenly don’t try and help it along. Instead give it a minute or so to see if the cigar begins to burn evenly by itself.


In the last couple of paragraphs we’ve already touched on one major difference between smoking a cigar and smoking a cigarette. Cigarette smokers would never try to light up without putting the cigarette in their mouth first and now we’re about to highlight another major difference.


Cigar smokers shouldn’t inhale. The taste … the pleasure … the enjoyment that you get from smoking a cigar is experienced in the mouth. So don’t suck it down into your lungs or you may never finish coughing and the sight of your uncaring friends falling about laughing may put you off cigar smoking forever - and you wouldn’t want that to happen now would you?

Don’t Be Afraid to Let Your Cigar Rest

Most cigarette smokers would never think of putting the cigarette that they’re smoking down unless they needed to use both hands to perform some task. Cigar smokers on the other hand will often put their cigars down to let them rest - and to rest their hand.


Holding a thick cigar between your fingers can become quite uncomfortable so be sure to give both your hand and your cigar a rest, but be careful how you put your cigar down. Hopefully you will use an ashtray and even more hopefully it will be one that’s designed for cigars.


The correct way to place a cigar in an ashtray is not to place it so that the burning end is resting in the ash. Instead you should place your cigar so that it is cradled and there is room for both ends of the cigar to breathe.


It Takes Time

The final point I want to make here is that smoking a cigar takes time - a lot more time than smoking a cigarette does. Your average cigar can take anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour to smoke so be prepared to take some time and enjoy it.


And hopefully these tips will help you enjoy your first cigars. In many ways cigar smoking is an art but it’s not one that is hard to master and as long as you follow these basics you’ll enjoy every cigar you light.


0 # Cutting the cap vs lightingBrad 2009-08-27 00:37
What does the cut of the cap have to do with lighting the foot correctly? Or have I been lighting the wrong end all these years?

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