By Shane K.
Firing up a premium cigar is the perfect end to a hectic week, especially when you can chill out with your pals and watch a game or shoot pool. The problem is, you can’t smoke just anywhere nowadays. Good luck getting your girlfriend or significant other to give you permission to light up in the house. That pretty much means you’re heading to a cigar bar or the lounge at your local smokeshop. Before you depart, we’ve put together some unspoken cigar lounge rules. Avoid looking like an amateur by applying a bit of etiquette when you smoke your next cigar.
1. Buy a Cigar
Buy a cigar. Let’s get the holy grail of cigar lounge rules out of the way without hesitation. Consider your cigar lounge with the same respect you would a restaurant. Do you see a sea of Pizza Hut boxes when you walk into your favorite neighborhood spot for Italian? No.
While bringing your own cigars may seem acceptable, you’re painting yourself as a thankless cheapskate by refusing to make a purchase. Yes, you can always find the best cigars at the cheapest prices online, but it’s selfish to visit a cigar retailer or lounge to smoke cigars you bought somewhere else. Buy a cigar and support the business that’s given you sanctuary from a world of punitive smoking bans. A good cigar lounge can’t pay its rent, employees, or electric bill without patrons.
2. Skip Licking Your Cigar
Some guys love to lick their cigars before lighting up. We’re not passing judgement, but a premium handmade cigar really doesn’t need to be coated in saliva to taste good. It’s especially unappealing when a fellow cigar lover asks to borrow your cutter after they’ve given their Padron 1964 Anniversary a Popsicle bath.
a premium handmade cigar really doesn’t need to be coated in saliva to taste good.
And if you’re using a universal cutter, cut your cigar before you put it in your mouth. Would you share your fork with a bunch of random fellas? A cigar cutter isn’t that far apart from a kitchen utensil. Once you’ve cut your cigar, though, it’s totally cool to spin it around in your lips and get a taste of the cold draw before you fire it up.
3. You’re Not Building a Bonfire
Firing up a premium cigar is a simple process. Sometimes it takes a minute or two to get it going. It’s completely normal to toast the foot of your cigar, take few puffs, and toast it some more. But, if you find yourself reaching for a fire extinguisher, you’ve done something wrong.
A common newbie mistake is to over-incinerate the end of a cigar by blasting it with a triple-torch lighter at close range until the cigar is charred and unrecognizable. The heat from a typical cigar torch lighter extends well beyond the flame you can actually see. Therefore, you can hold your cigar at a safe distance (4 to 6 inches) away from the flame when you fire up. And if your cigar is wrapped in cedar, please take it off before you hit the ignition and save the fire department a trip.
4. The Puffing Poindexter
It was love at first puff. You smoked a few cigars, bought a humidor, and now you’ve got cigar boxes lining your bedroom walls. Tobacco is practically pumping through your veins. We’re stoked premium cigars mean as much to you as they do to us!
Pump the brakes, though, if you find yourself pulling out a journal with all the cigar bands you’ve smoked since 1993 to pass around like a stamp collection. If the fellas in your lounge start reaching for their earbuds, you may have gone too far telling them about the pH of the soil in Nicaragua. Consider teaching a class if you’ve got that much knowledge to spare.
5. Easy with the Febreze
Clearly, the scent of a good cigar is something that frightens you. Either you’re freaking out that your favorite sweater will never smell the same again or you’re worried your wife is going to make you sleep in the garage when you get home.
When a pharmaceutical meadow engulfs every chair you sit in and your pals look like they’re gasping for air, you’ve put too much on – cologne, or deodorant, or deodorizer. Don’t suffocate your cigar lounge. Check the labels in your medicine cabinet to make sure you haven’t sprayed yourself with something flammable, or better yet, just smoke outside to be safe.
6. Who Likes a Mooch?
Pinch yourself if you have to keep asking your pals if they have any spare cigars. Premium cigars can get expensive. Asking for handouts is annoying. Ask if you can bum twenty bucks instead and see how many takers take you up. There’s a fine line between a bona fide cigar fiend and a panhandling lounge lizard.
Premium cigars can get expensive. Asking for handouts is annoying.
Luckily, most cigar shops and lounges have a blowout bin filled to the gills with super-cheap cigars and inexpensive bundles. Pay it a visit if you can’t quench your thirst for premium smokes with your monthly cigar allowance.
7. No “Butts” About It
You’ve come to the end of a superb smoke. It tasted amazing. You’re satisfied and smiling, but it’s not too late to leave a bad impression – even as you’re getting up to go. Rookies make this mistake all the time. Smooshing and mashing out the end of your cigar isn’t necessary.
A premium handmade cigar is not a cigarette and it does not have a filter or a butt that needs to be deliberately driven into the bottom of an ashtray like a thumbtack. Because cigars are crafted with humidified tobacco, they will naturally burn out on their own after a few minutes. Let your cigar rest in the ashtray and it will expire gracefully. Avoid the mess and unwanted aroma that a smashed-out smoldering cigar produces.