INTRO
The world of cigars and cigar smoking is filled to the very brim with all manner of sound and fury signifying nothing. The truth is, a cigar is an instrument of pleasure. If it pleases you, the cigar is doing what it should. However, certain conventions have come about because they influence the overall enjoyment of the cigar. Consider each and see if you would like to follow them. The choice is yours. Keep in mind, some of these will contradict each other. So seriously, pick and choose these. We have underlined those we (mostly) follow personally.

ETIQUETTE
  • Ask permission before lighting up. Some people simply deplore the smell. Do not subject them to it.
  • Bring enough to share. Like a lot of things, cigars are best when shared. Don’t smoke alone. Hey, if your friends are smoking too, they’re less likely to complain when they have a face full of smoke. On that note,
  • Smoke downwind. A face full of smoke is no fun. Don’t subject your friends to it. Just be mindful.
  • Warm the cigar before lighting. This is done between the hands, theoretically so as not to shock the tobacco with to strong or quick a change in temperature.
  • Don’t remove the label. The people who made this fine cigar deserve the free advertising you are giving them. Supposedly (according to a friend), Cuban gay men leave their label on as a signal to other gay men as to their orientation. Not that it matters.
  • Remove the label before lighting. We are all friends here, and what we paid for our cigars matters not. Let us remove any sign that one of us is superior to the other. Cuba is after all, a communist country.
  • Remove the label after lighting. The heat from the smoke loosens the glue in the label, so it is safer to remove it a minute or two in.
  • Remove the label half way through. By now, the glue is really loose, so it’s super easy. Plus, we’ve discussed what we’re smoking by now, so it is a moot issue. May as well consider us all equals.
  • Puff once a minute. Any quicker and the cigar will burn too hotly and produce ammonia flavors. Yuck!
  • Hold the cigar between your thumb and first finger. It’s a sign of distinction, to separate you from a cigarette smoker.
  • Do not rub out the nub. Allow the cigar to die out on its own. It’s a sign of respect for the carefully crafted object of deep pleasure.
  • Do not smoke more often than 15 minutes between cigars. Any more and you’ve got an obsession.
  • Do not touch the flame to the tobacco. It’s unnecessary and it shows you don’t know how to light the cigar properly.
  • Light the cigar yourself. It’s no one else’s job. You can borrow a lighter, but do the deed yourself.
  • Do not relight too many times. The tobacco will become harsh, and the odds are, if it keeps going out, it should stay that way.
  • Do not light the cigar while it is in your mouth. It’s crass.
  • Do not do anything else while smoking your cigar. It’s not an activity to be done while working. It’s a leisurely activity.
  • Do not clamp the cigar between your teeth. Cigars are sophisticated, and should be consumed while giving them your concentration. If your hands are otherwise occupied, try a cigarette perhaps.
  • Do not let the end of your cigar become too slobbery. It’s disgusting.
  • Tap off the ash of your cigar often. It can make a mess, and it’s best to get rid of it.
  • Do not tap off the ash of your cigar too often. A long trail of ash shows a well rolled cigar.
  • Let the ash fall off on its own. Let the cigar speak how well it was rolled all on its own.
  • Leave ash only where allowed. That is, if you ash at all.
  • Don’t give too much advice to other smokers. They’re enjoying themselves just fine, thank you.
  • If you touch a cigar to your nose in a store, buy it. Don’t spread your filth.
  • Don’t lick your cigar. This dates back to the 20’s in America, when good cigars were hard to come by and most needed your moist saliva to stay together. It’s no longer necessary, so keep your tongue in your mouth.
  • Use an ashtray. A clean space is a space worth enjoying (and smoking) in.
  • Don’t inhale. Cigars are like fine wine. Sip it, swish it around, and spit it out.
  • Don’t smoke more than half. Leave the latter half alone. It’s too harsh.
  • Smoke it down to a nub. Enjoy all of it. The last third is the best part.