How to Properly Smoke a Cigar for Beginners

At first glance, smoking a cigar may seem like a fairly simple proposition. You put one end in your mouth, light the other, and enjoy. While this is the gist of it, there are a few key tips you should take into consideration when trying your first cigar.

Get a Proper Cutter

While some cigars come with pre-cut ends, many of the better varieties will require you to cut them yourself. There are numerous cheap “snippers” on the market you can pick up, but these tend to crush the wrapper more so than cut through it. This will leave you with tobacco in your mouth and may even cause your expensive stogie to fall apart. Invest in a high-quality bullet punch so you can take a smaller hole out of the end, preserving the structural integrity of your cigar.

Light it Properly

Everyone has their favorite lighter, but did you know this is not the best way to fire up your cigar? The butane in common lighters is associated with a variety of health risks, and they tend to put off-flavors into your cigar as you draw the fumes through the stick. Instead, strike a long wooden match and let it burn off the ignition residue for a few seconds before puffing. Lighting-up this way ensures a clean tasting smoke.

Puff Thoughtfully

The whole point of smoking a cigar is to enjoy the rich flavors they offer. Cigar rollers and tobacco cultivators take great care in applying the lessons they’ve learned through years of plying their trade so that you can have the best possible experience. But all of this is wasted if you puff too hard. Temperature greatly influences our perception of taste, and tobacco will take on an acrid, bitter flavor if you puff so hard that the fire burns hotter than it should. Slow, steady draws will bring out the natural sweetness of your chosen variety while ensuring that the experience lasts.

Do Not Inhale

Cigarette smoking and cigar smoking are two very different practices. A cigarette smoker must inhale to satisfy a chemical need for nicotine. Cigar smoking is purely an olfactory hobby. It’s about taking the time to appreciate the flavor of a fine stick of tobacco. As cigars are unfiltered, inhaling the smoke can cause significant respiratory injury faster than cigarettes, so care is warranted. You want to draw the smoke into your mouth, let it linger a few moments, and then slowly blow it out.

Wrapping it Up

Taking care to follow these tip will ensure that you get the most out of your investment, even if you’ve never smoked a cigar before. Spend a little extra to get a proper cutting tool that won’t damage the wrapper. Light it up properly to ensures fuel residues will not taint the flavor of your tobacco. Keep the fire controlled by puffing softly so your tobacco burns cool and sweet. Puff, do not inhale. Happy smoking!

Evan Shaner