Most people don’t smoke cigars regularly, and if you haven’t taken the time to smoke a few yourself it can be a bit confusing, believe it or not.
What’s so difficult about lighting it then smoking it? “Don’t put the burning side in your mouth, suck in the smoke, then blow it out.” Unfortunately it isn’t that cut and dry. There are a few basic guidelines that regular smokers tend to follow to make the process easier and more enjoyable.
Now, unless your friends are assholes like mine you’re probably not gonna have anyone making fun of you for not knowing where to cut the tip, or how to get a nice full draw [hit.] Though when you’re at a meeting and someone whips out the humidor nobody wants to look like the newbie of the group.
In order to not leave you drowning at the butt of the conversation, I’ve put together a quick guide on how to smoke a cigar “the right way.” Reference these tips and you’ll not only look like a regular cigar connoisseur, but you’ll also get a much more enjoyable experience from the first time you light up.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CIGAR
Pictured: Deadwood Fat Bottom Betty (My Favorite)
If you’re walking into a smoke shop don’t expect that throwing down some mad cash on the most expensive options are gonna give you the best smoke. Higher prices don’t always mean quality, and as a new smoker you more than likely won’t immediately enjoy all the distinguishing factors a top notch stick will provide. Go for something mild and reasonably priced and sized to start off.
HOW TO CUT YOUR CIGAR
We’re not smoking cigarettes here, you need to snip the end of the cigar before you smoke it. You can use a sharp knife if there isn’t a clipper around, but biting the tip off should never be a thing that happens. I know we’ve all seen it done by the “badasses” in movies, but all this is going to do is screw up your new cigar.
For the best possible results, clip off the end with a fast, strong motion. This will avoid any tearing and unraveling, leading to a much more enjoyable smoke. Though I suppose if you’re stranded with nothing to cut it, you can just bite that mother f*cker off. A shitty cut is better than having no cigar at all I suppose.
HOW TO LIGHT IT
There are a lot of ways to do this, but I personally prefer the torch lighter. Wooden matches are my 2nd choice, but they are a more difficult to keep lit for long. This will make things slightly trickier for beginners. Regular cigarette lights will get the gob done, but I would recommend avoiding them, as they do tend to affect the flavor of the tobacco.
Regardless of what you use you’ll want to start by holding the cigar in your hands, placing the far tip above the flame. Again, holding it directly in the flame can affect the flavor, though you may not notice the difference with no prior experience. Just focus on getting the thing lit– don’t puff on it just yet. Before puffing on the cigar you’ll want to burn off the end in a “preparation” of the tobacco. Spin it around as you light it to make sure it’s burning even all around; once you see an orange glow it’s ready to be hit [puffed]
HOW TO SMOKE IT
Once the tip is good to go put it in your mouth and start puffin” [That’s what she said]
Really though, you gotta puff on it a bit to fully light it– Don’t inhale the smoke. If you do you’re going to be coughing up a lung in front of everyone within earshot. Here’s a tip: you want to hit it like you’re sucking through a straw and draw the air in with your diaphragm. Let your mouth fill with smoke then blow it out. You’ll want to do this 4 or 5 times, or until you’re producing a thick white smoke.
You can start to chill at this point as your cigar is fully lit and is going to burn for a while now. Some people are faster smokers than others, so they will puff more consistently, obviously going through the cigar faster; though this isn’t necessary to keep it lit. Depending on the size it can last anywhere from 30 mins to a few hours.
And that’s that. You’re ready to start enjoying the social activity that are cigars. I’d give you a diploma if I could, but I’ll sleep well enough knowing that you won’t be making a fool of yourself if asked to join someone for a stogie. Keep it classy, gentleman.
I’ve included a few personal favorites of mine that are a bit more mild and less harsh– you may want to give them a shot whether you’re a beginner or a pro.