Smoking a cigar is a bit of an art form. Though you may think that it is as simple as putting one end in your mouth and lighting the other end, there’s more to it than that. There are conventions and norms to follow when you light up a cigarette.

Smoking a Cigar the Proper Way

(Pixabay / PeterKraayvanger)

You can smoke like a pro if you follow a few simple rules before getting started.

  • Choosing Your Cigar – Don’t grab the first cigar you see. Do a little homework first. You can check out the Guide to Cigar Varietals to get an idea of the different types of cigars that you will likely encounter. It will also help you determine which cigars that you might enjoy.
  • Cutting Your Cigar –You need to cut into the cap of the cigar before smoking. The cap is placed on the cigar’s head to prevent it from drying out. The best way to cut a cigar is with a cigar clipper. Do not use a dull knife or scissors, as you will risk tearing the cigar. Cut the cigar in one chop without altering its original shape.
  • Lighting Your Cigar – A torch lighter is the best option to light up your cigar. Beginners should avoid wooden matches, as they are difficult to keep lit for a long period. Standard cigarette lighters should also be avoided because they may alter the flavor of the cigar. Do not light the cigar right away. You will first need to warm the foot of the cigar by holding it near the flame. Then get closer to the flame, but no so close that the flame is actually touching the foot of the cigar. Inhale strongly enough to light the cigar, but do not inhale the smoke. You can blow on the foot of the cigar to make the sure the light is evenly distributed.
  • Smoking Your Cigar – Once you have the cigar tip primed and ready, you can put the cigar in your mouth and begin puffing. Do not inhale the smoke. Fill your mouth with the smoke by mimicking sucking with a straw. Then blow the smoke out. Do this about five times until your cigar begins producing thick white smoke. Puff and rotate your cigar every 30 seconds or so.
  • Extinguishing Your Cigar – Extinguish your cigar by simply setting it aside in an ashtray when you are done smoking.

Don’t be discouraged if your first smoking experience is accompanied by a steep learning curve. Once you get the hang of it, it will be easy to light up next time. Soon, you’ll be exploring different flavors and smoking like a true aficionado.