How to properly smoke a cigar

Slow down.

This is probably the most important note if you want to properly smoke a cigar.

The whole point is to relax and enjoy yourself. You’ve scheduled your “me time” and there is no need to rush it. Take a few puffs, sit back and enjoy. If you feel it getting hot and you taste a bit of bitterness in the cigar, that is a clear sign you’re smoking it too fast and you need to slow down. Remember that great legends are not born overnight. Patience, humility and consistency molds classiness. Those who know, express silently.

Do NOT inhale.

The main reason is cigar tobacco, also called dark or black tobacco, is completely different from the tobacco you find in cigarettes. It is not as acidic which means that even if you try to get nicotine in your lungs like you do with a cigarette, it is not acidic enough to deliver nicotine through your bloodstream. Cigars are meant to be in the mouth, rolled around the palate and expelled. If you inhale it, you will get sick.

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So, how long should you hold cigar smoke in your mouth? Should you retro-hale? Retro-hale is when you bring in the cigar smoke and expel it through your sinuses and out of your nose. It’s your experience and it is all about what you want to do. 

Hold your cigar correctly.

What is the correct way to hold a cigar? However you are comfortable holding it. There are so many different ways to hold it, but it all comes down to preference. Some people like to hold it up with their pointer finger over the body of the cigar. Others like to hold it to the side, pinched between their pointer finger and thumb. Some prefer to hold it between their middle and ring finger. Whatever feels natural to you is exactly how you should hold it.

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Don’t panic when your cigar goes out.

There is absolutely nothing wrong if your cigar goes out, the cherry dims and fades out, and your last puff was a bit of a dud.. It could be that you let it go out by waiting too long to take another puff, while it could also be the type of cigar you are smoking. Some tobacco burns more naturally than others. Darker cigars, like Maduros, have higher moisture content so they might go out a little faster than a lighter leaf cigar. If it does happen and you need to relight, remove all the ash off the cigar first. You don’t want to light the cigar through the ash, so clean it off and start fresh.

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Know when to ash.

So, your ash is getting pretty long. Should you dump it off? The correct answer is no, don’t ash. However, it is situational. If you are standing in a crowd of people or you are wearing a dressy outfit and your ash is getting long and unruly, then you may want to ash to avoid it being dumped into your lap, or worse, on someone else . If that isn’t a concern, the ash acts as a filter, so the longer the ash, the better. As you see in the picture to the left, this is a midsize ash, providing excellent control on the heating of the burning cherry.

Know your cigar etiquette. If you are smoking around other people, keep the cigar ash pointed towards yourself, and be mindful! Just in case someone accidentally brushes up against it and gets rubbed on or even worse, burned. If you are sitting around a table and everyone is smoking a cigar, it doesn’t really matter where you blow your smoke. However, if you are sitting with non-smokers, blow your smoke clouds in the opposite direction of them. Keep in mind that not everyone has the same classy tastes as you, and True gentlemen show their manners to all. 

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