To ensure respect from our fellow cigar smokers and distinguish ourselves from the average smoker here is a guide line to Cigar Etiquette:
- Unfortunately nowadays there seem to be more anti-smoking regulations, limiting the number of places where we can enjoy our favorite tobacco. Before lighting up, check your surroundings. If there are others who don’t share in your passion of enjoying a good smoke ask them politely if they mind you lighting up. If you are in a designated smoking area, hold your ground in a polite and logical manner.
- Never use your teeth or a pen knife when making a cut in your cigars. Instead use a cutter, scissors or punch when making incisions into the cap of your cigars.
- Never light your cigars with paper matches or with a liquid lighter. You should use a wooden match or a butane-fueled lighter. Cigar Aficionados have advised me the best method in lighting a cigar is using a cedar match or strip.
- When lighting the cigar hold it at about a 90 degree angle above the flame of your lighter, slowly twisting or rotating the cigar until all parts of the foot are evenly charred. Place the cigar in your mouth with the flame still under the foot of the cigar puffing gently until the flames jump up. Continue slowly rotating the cigar while occasionally blowing on the foot to ensure an even burn.
- A cigar must be savored and needs to be treated gently, use an ash tray designed for cigars. A cigar ash tray allows you to have a resting place for your stogie, otherwise; you will have to hold it. Make sure your cigar doesn’t touch the ash as it sits in the tray. Another reason for having a larger ash tray will prevent you from having a messy situation like ash spilling over the edges. If you are stuck with a small cigarette ash tray, empty it often before finishing your smoke.
- If you end up in a situation when your cigar burns faster down one side be careful as it can become a messy situation with ashes and flaming pieces falling off. If this should occur to you allow the cigar go out in the ash tray, knock off all of the ash, slowly and carefully burn off the unburned section attempting to bring it back to being even.
- If the wrapper at the end of the cigar should start to unravel, lightly moisten it with your tongue and wrap it back around the cigar. If the wrapper should split discard the cigar or if you wish to smoke it anyway, attempt to remove the wrapper. Keep in mind when removing the wrapper this will not only make the cigar look unpleasant but, it will also affect the taste.
- When you are ready to put out your cigar, don’t crush it out like you would do to a cigarette. Crushing a cigar when putting it out causes it to smolder and give off a foul smell. Place your cigar in the ashtray, let sit and within a couple of minutes it will go out by itself. If you wish to re-light the cigar later you must do so within an hour or the tars that collect at the end will become too bitter and a the odor is bad taking away your enjoyment of the cigar. I must admit I am guilty of letting a cigar sit a full 24 hours later, re-lit, smoked it and found it wasn’t so bad. I did it as an experiment and I don’t recommend it.