Our 16 Cigar Do’s and Don’ts

Babe Ruth and Ban Johnson 1922, enjoying cigars

From beginner to aficionado, we all have our quips and quirks when it comes to smoking cigars, but below we have written a few cigar do’s and cigar don’ts that we think you should know about.


Cigar Do’s

Check it

Check your cigar over by gently squeezing it to see if there are any plugs hidden within. There is nothing worse than a cigar with a plugged draw, so it’s always worth checking for hard spots. A plugged cigar is not always fatal as the warmth opens up the leaf, but if the plug is under the band, you’re wasting your time trying to smoke it.

Take the band

Once the cigar is lit, it should only take a few minutes to soften the gum that the band is attached to your cigar with. The rule of removing the band changes between people and is often optional. We recommend following suit of the host when smoking with a group of individuals.

Take your time

A puff a minute is about right, smoking your favourite stogie should be an experience and not a chore. There is nothing worse than seeing that one fellow puffing frantically at his cigar. Relax, let the stogie cool before your next puff.

Aficionado vs novice

If there is one thing that separates the men from the boys when it comes to smoking a cigar it has to be how you hold the cigar. Hold the cigar between the thumb and forefinger as opposed to the forefinger and middle finger. There isn’t a real reason for this rule, but it is one that cigar enthusiasts learn early and stick with forever.

Dignified in death

Give your cigars the dignity of dying on its own. You don’t need to stub a cigar out, let it slowly go out of its own accord.


Sadly, the extinguished cigar is just as distasteful as a cigarette butt, so as soon as you can, dispose of it discreetly and continue.


Cigar Don’ts

Take at it with a knife

This comes down to class; don’t use a penknife to cut or pierce the end of your cigar. It looks awful, and there is no reason to stoop to this level. A stogie is there to be enjoyed, don’t mutilate it, give the respect it deserves with Xikar cutters.

Set the foot alight

Only rotate the foot around the flame to lightly toast it around the edges until it slightly burns. You’re not setting the cigar on fire, just toast it until it shows a beautiful breath of silver smoke.

Ask for a light

Now, this doesn’t mean you cannot borrow a friend’s lighter or matches, just don’t let someone else light your cigar for you. Always undertake the responsibility of lighting your stogie. Asking a friend to light your cigar is akin to asking them to undress your wife before bed.

Quick or slow

All down to experience, don’t light your cigar too fast and certainly don’t hesitate or pause. Lighting should maintain like a continual toast, but with your full attention and a little caution.


Don’t indulge in exhibitionism when lighting or smoking your cigar; this is the most personal and gratifying experience that anyone can have. It’s your time to indulge and relish in the tranquillity of your cigar. Allow it to become your focus and enjoy the time with it.

Relight in the mouth

Simply awful manner. Hold the cigar in your finger as you should anyway and rotate it slowly over the flame to toast the end.

Be Scarface

Unless you are planning to replicate the brutalities of Tony Montana, this is certainly not the behaviour of a gentleman. Smoking a stogie should be an elegant display, not brash. And never talk with a cigar hanging out your mouth. Remove it first, then speak; your audience will respect you for that.

Dog bone it

Don’t slobber or chew the end of your cigar; you’re not a dog with a bone. There is no need to wet the cigar unless it happens to be burning irregularly, in which case wet the tip of your finger and dab the area burning too quickly.

Dip it

The habit is attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, who was famous for dipping his cigars in port or brandy, but you sir, are not Churchill, and we can forgive his faux pas. The cigar maker can spend decades perfecting the character of a cigar blend for you to experience. It’s best to pay tribute to all that hard work and time. You wouldn’t stick a dram of 20-year-old Scotch into a pint of coke.

Let anyone tell you how to smoke a cigar

You shouldn’t let anyone say to you how you want to enjoy your well-earned stogie. However, it is always good to respect tradition and listen to other aficionado’s opinions. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the growing network we enjoy today.

We would love to hear from you, so if you have any interesting cigar do’s and don’ts you have picked up over the years, like, and comment below.

Leave a Reply