Many people find smoking cigars to be a pleasant occasional experience. However, if you try to smoke it like a pipe or cigarette, you’re probably going to have a hard time. Smoking a cigar requires a completely different method if you want to enjoy it to its fullest. Here’s how to smoke a cigar in a few easy steps.
Cut Your Cigar
With a few exceptions, high-quality cigars come with a cap. This end is closed off with a tobacco leaf and comprises the “butt”. There may be a small line displaying where the cap ends. Think of this as the dotted line you need to cut along. If you use a typical guillotine cigar cutter, put the end of your cigar into the hole and cut it just behind the line. If you cut too far forward of the line, you’ll waste part of your cigar. This can also give you a less refined smoke and the outer wrapping could begin to come off while you smoke it.
There are other methods to cutting your cigar. A punch and V-cut provide a more concentrated taste and direct the smoke onto your palate. This gives you a more intense experience. However, the straight cut you get with a guillotine cutter tends to be cooler with an easier draw. Many new cigar smokers prefer it at first.
Lighting Your Cigar
There’s a trick to lighting a cigar properly. You can’t just briefly flick a lighter under it and scorch it like a cigarette or you’ll ruin it. Hold the cigar in your mouth and take a couple of draws off of it. Using your choice of an ignition source, gently “toast” the end of the cigar and turn it over the flame before you puff on it again. Try not to get it too close to the fire or you may char it.
Because cigars are made from moister tobacco than cigarettes, they take more time to light. Once you’ve toasted the end and see smoke, begin drawing on your cigar. Expect the flame to swell as you do this. Turn the cigar during this to ensure it’s evenly lit.
Smoking Your Cigar
Now for the last step of how to smoke a cigar. At this point, you can begin enjoying it. However, make sure you don’t inhale. Cigar smoke is meant to be held in your mouth, not your lungs. Take a gentle puff off of your cigar and savor its taste for a few seconds before releasing the smoke.
The ash that forms on your cigar will remain intact for an extended period, but you don’t want to wait so long to ash the cigar that it falls on the floor or your clothes. Once you’ve developed about an inch of ash on the end, gently roll it in your ashtray. Take care not to tap or crush it since this may damage the wrapping and cause your cigar to fall apart. Use some tenderness and try to resist ashing it after every puff.
Smoking cigars is all about savoring the experience. Taking your time ensures that you don’t get a huge influx of nicotine and make yourself feel sick. If you start to feel like you’ve had too much, just set your cigar aside until you feel better.