How to Get the Most Out of Cigar Smoking
If you've been following along with our blog, you know how to cut and light a cigar like a master. Now, you're ready to become an expert at the act of smoking. Cigars are nothing like cigarettes; they are meant to be enjoyed differently and there is an art to it— not to mention, if you're smoking with others who are more experienced than you, doing it wrong could be embarrassing. Appearances matter, and cigars are a symbol of wealth and power, so you want to look like you deserve to be smoking one!

The absolute first thing you should know is to never inhale the smoke. Inhaling will send you into a coughing fit and ruin the smoking experience for you, as well as outing you as a rank amateur. If you're used to cigarettes, this may seem odd— what's the point? Well, Cigar smoking is about tasting the smoke, almost like sipping fine whiskey, and rolling the smoke around in your mouth to fully appreciate the flavor. Cigars do contain nicotine, and you will actually absorb it through your mouth, so you will still feel an effect without inhalation.

While smoking, puff the cigar slowly, about once or twice a minute, and experiment with keeping the smoke in your mouth and tasting it. Don't smoke too fast— again, this is not a cigarette, and cigars are meant to be enjoyed in luxury, not sucked down quickly on a smoke break. Don't wait too long between puffs, either, or the cigar could go out.

Keep an eye on the cigar's lit end, and if it seems to be burning unevenly, hold it or place it in an ashtray with the slow-burning side down until it evens out. It's a good idea to rotate it in your fingers as you smoke it, just to keep it burning evenly.

A quality cigar can hold several inches of ash before it falls off, because tobacco that is packed better leaves behind a more solid and resilient ash. It's fun to see how long the ash of your cigar can get, but don't leave it too long because drawing air through it will start to affect your cigar's flavor. It’s a good idea to ash your cigar when the ash gets to be about an inch long. To get rid of the ash, roll the cigar gently against the edge of an ashtray— don't tap it like a cigarette.

Since a cigar doesn't have an obvious filter like a cigarette, you may feel uncertain about when you should stop smoking it. In this case, the answer depends on the cigar. If the band is still on the cigar, stop there as a rule, but generally, you should stop when you no longer enjoy it. If the cigar still has an inch or two left but gets too hot or doesn't taste that great anymore, it’s fine to stop. Conversely, there's nothing wrong with smoking it down as far as you can, as long as it still tastes good and you aren't burning your fingers! The only exception is that if you're in a formal situation with others, you should take a cue from the group and stop when everyone else does.

When your smoking session is over, never snuff out the cigar. Just set it on the edge of the ashtray and let it go out naturally. Cigars don't have additives like cigarettes that keep them burning while not being smoked, so left alone, they will extinguish.

Now, you're ready to smoke with the pros, whether you're celebrating with friends or colleagues, impressing strangers at a high-stakes poker game, or simply relaxing at home.


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