Basic Etiquette for Cigar Smoking in Public Spaces
Primary rules of cigar etiquette when smoking in public areas and common spaces include the following:
1. Bring a Quality Cigar Cutter and Lighter
As a beginning cigar smoker, you must learn to remove the closed end, or cap, of your cigar before smoking. Shop for a quality v-cutter or cigar punch for cutting your stogie. If you use a knife or another type of sharp cutting object, you may create a ragged cigar end. This will most likely result in losing a portion of the tobacco and producing an uneven or unbalanced burn.
Asking another smoker to light your cigar is considered improper etiquette. If you forget your own lighter at home or in the office, you can ask to borrow one from a fellow smoker. However, always remember to return a lighter to the owner after lighting up. Allowing time to toast a cigar is also important.
You should hold your cigar when lighting. Refrain from placing it in your mouth to light up. Always ensure that the flame is at a distance from the foot of your stogie. If placed near the foot, the flame may damage it and hamper your smoking enjoyment. As you see the foot assume a red-orange glow, blow softly on it. This will assist with an even distribution of heat.
You can perfect this step by keeping the cigar at a distance of one or two inches from your lighter. During the lighting process, rotate the cigar smoothly just over the lighter flame. At this point, you are ready to enjoy a relaxing, leisurely smoke on your own or with others.
2. Smoke Slowly for Ultimate Enjoyment
Never attempt to break a record for speed when smoking a cigar. Actually, by finishing your smoke quickly, you miss some pleasures of the experience. Smoking too rapidly makes the tobacco burn quickly. This can create a bitter, rather unpleasant lingering taste. You may also suffer the effects of extra nicotine, which can result in cigar sickness.
Practice taking a single puff every minute. By doing so, you can make your cigar burn steadily, allowing it time to cool. This enables you to enjoy a luxurious balance of flavors and aromas. For those new to cigar smoking, drinking water while enjoying your smoke can prevent dehydration.
3. Never Dip or Dunk Your Cigar
Many smokers enjoy having various drinks along with a pleasurable smoke. Beverages that often accompany cigar smoking include coffee, malt scotch, and a variety of cocktails. The celebrated Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, was known to dip his cigar in brandy while smoking. Yet, dipping or dunking your stogie in the drink of your choice does nothing to improve its flavor. Furthermore, your drink will be peppered with ash. An excess of moisture may also interfere with the draw of your cigar.
You can purchase infused cigars that consist of various flavors combined with expertly hand-rolled tobacco leaves. Available flavors include coffee, whiskey, and chocolate. These infused cigars can be quite enjoyable. Yet, it is best to limit your dipping and dunking to coffee and donuts or tea and biscuits.
4. Mind Your Ashes
Although an accumulation of ash provides a cooler smoke, it should always be less than an inch. If you allow a larger buildup, you will most likely end your smoke with ash smudges and spots adorning your clothes. Before any ashes fall, tap your cigar gently, directing the ashes into an ashtray. Take care to avoid soiling or burning the furniture. Also, be aware that depositing ashes onto the floor is entirely unacceptable.
5. Refrain from Stubbing Out Your Cigar
Only uninformed beginners and amateur smokers stub out their cigars after smoking. Doing so is in poor taste, showing a lack of etiquette. It also makes an unsightly mess and leaves a strong, disagreeable odor that other people will not appreciate. Using an ashtray for this purpose is just as easy and convenient. When you prop the remains of your cigar on the ashtray's edge, it will burn out without leaving any unpleasant odor.
6. Never Place a Cigar in Your Mouth for Relighting
If you need to relight a cigar, follow the same protocol that you used to first light it. Lighting or relighting your stogie while anchored in your mouth is bad manners. Always hold the cigar, rotating it smoothly while toasting the end in the flame of your lighter.
7. Refrain from Slicing Your Cigar in Half
Cutting your cigar in half interferes with the quality of your smoke. Instead, select the cigar size of your choice. Select a size that you will want to finish smoking. There is no harm or lack of etiquette in saving a partially smoked cigar to enjoy later. Just refrain from cutting it in half.
8. Never Place a Half-Smoked Stogie in Your Humidor
Although a half-smoked cigar never has the same flavor as smoking the entire stogie, it is still smokable the next day. After enjoying the first half, let your smoke burn out. Then cut away the ash and store the remaining half in a zipped plastic bag. Never leave it in a humidor or in your pocket or purse. This can create a highly disagreeable odor that can permeate an entire room.
9. Observe Any Area’s Activity Before You Light Up
Even if you are in a relatively quiet, unpopulated area of a park, community square, or beach, look around before smoking. Choose a space to sit away from other people. Especially when they have small children or babies in strollers, parents often object to being around smokers today. They may object more strongly to puffs of cigar smoke than to clouds of cigarette smoke.
Older people and some others may have health issues that necessitate keeping at a distance from smokers. In addition, some people are adamantly opposed to public smoking, even in areas where it is allowed and common. You may think that strolling along the shoreline at the beach while enjoying a smoke is acceptable and considerate. Yet, some other seashore enthusiasts may not agree with you.
It is always best to select a public smoking venue that is officially approved for use by cigar smokers before you light up. After finding a comfortable spot to relax and enjoy your stogie, take care when puffing smoke. Just be sure to puff in the opposite direction from others who are seated nearby and from passersby. Also, be aware of which way the breeze is blowing and direct your puffs of smoke accordingly. Following the rules of cigar etiquette will please those around you.
10. Bring Extra Stogies for Your Smoking Buddies
When going to a cigar-smoking friend’s backyard cookout or man cave get-together, remember to take an extra supply of stogies. Lighting up your cigar by yourself at a social gathering is awkward. Also, smoking with others is more fun. Sharing your favorite cigars with others shows that you want them to enjoy a group smoke. It also is a gesture of thanks and appreciation to your friend for hosting this event.
The Charm and Etiquette of Cigar Lounges
Cigar lounges are designed for your ultimate enjoyment while smoking your stogie. Here, you can retreat from your demanding life and relax with a top-rated smoke. Yet, these lounges have specified rules of etiquette to be observed by all smokers. There is usually a dress code. There is no need to wear formal attire, but a nice suit or dress is appropriate.
Any cigar that you enjoy in a lounge environment should be bought on the premises. Never bring cigars with you from your favorite collection at home or purchased from a competing establishment unless this lounge permits such practices.
Beginners may need reminders to avoid puffing smoke in someone else’s face. Not only is this rude behavior, but it can interfere with another smoker’s enjoyment of a cigar flavor different from yours. You want to ensure a pleasing, comfortable smoking session for all present. Sharing an enjoyable smoking experience with others is what cigar lounges are for.
The Importance of Following Varied Cigar-Smoking Rules
The art and act of smoking a cigar is a relaxing luxury that has been enjoyed by many generations of enthusiasts. It is also a social activity that encourages friendly conversation with friends, colleagues, and newly made acquaintances. By following the rules for lighting up in different spaces, including public smoking areas and cigar lounges, you show respect for this celebrated leisure activity.
You may discover an attractive cigar lounge or bar that you are not familiar with. Before planning to enjoy a smoke there, take time to check the establishment’s basic rules. Although most lounges expect you to try their own supply of cigars, others may allow you to bring your own.
Cigar lounge rules often vary in different countries and locales. For example, in the UK, these interior stogie-smoking venues are intended for those with the desire to test different cigars. Just as in shops, these lounges are places to try out particular brands of cigars before buying. In some venues, bringing your own cigars to smoke is actually illegal.
Yet, most serious cigar smokers welcome the experience of visiting a new smoking venue to test stogies recommended by experts. It is also considered good manners and appropriate to sample the cigar supply of a high-quality lounge or shop. Some cigar sommeliers delight in the opportunity to discover the favorite cigars of newcomers and prospective ongoing guests or lounge members.
Selecting the Ideal Cigar for Each Smoking Session
You should choose each cigar at a lounge, bar, or shop according to the length of time that you have to smoke it. If you have only a half-hour for smoking, you should not select a Robusto size stogie. In this instance, a Petit Robusto size would be the best choice. As you gain more experience as a cigar smoker, you will also learn the ideal cigar to select according to your beverage of choice while smoking.
The practice of cigar smoking is a long-prevailing art and social activity. It encourages friendly conversation and the development of new friendships among smokers. Smoking your favorite stogie at home, at a cigar lounge, or at a casual gathering of fellow smokers is relaxing and quite enjoyable. If you are new to this intriguing form of home-life leisure or social engagement, just be sure to know and follow stogie-smoking etiquette and accepted procedures. Then sit back and enjoy every moment of your smoke.