The sum and total of cigar knowledge, lore, etiquette and practical advice could fill dozens and dozens of books. True cigar aficionados aren’t born; they’re bred with a body of knowledge that is the product of their experience.
But if you had to extract the essentials, it would look something like this:
• Neatly trim the end of your cigar with an appropriate device.
• Hold your cigar between the thumb and index finger.
• Take time to warm the foot of the cigar slightly prior to lighting it
• Rotate the flame around the edge of the foot until it starts to burn, then puff lightly.
• Cigar smoking is a LEISURE activity, not a race — a puff a minute is about right.
• Let a cigar go out on its own, without excessive grinding in an ashtray
• Let it go out if there’s less than one quarter of its leaf remaining
• Re-light a viable cigar by scraping the ash and turning it in the flame for a moment or two until it catches again
Dispose of the dead cigar discreetly and quickly.
• Use a penknife to cut, a lance to pierce, or your teeth to chew off the end of the cigar
• Touch the flame directly to the foot of the cigar:
• Ask someone else for a light
• Be a show off – no one wants to see a narcissistic cigar-smoker calling attention to himself/herself with an elaborate display of cigar smoking technique or accoutrements like cigar holders.
• Put a dead cigar into your mouth and puff furiously while lighting to re-ignite it
• Don’t chew on your cigar, slobber on it, gesture with it or clench it between your teeth (unless you’re a 1930’s homicide detective)
Chain smoke. Cigars are to be savored.
• Remove the band carefully after lighting the cigar