The Do's and Don'ts of Cigar Smoking
What you need to know before your next smoke session.
IMAGE Tammy David


DO: Remove the cellophane wrapping. Burning plastic isn’t delicious (and it’s bad for the environment).

DON’T: Remove the ringband—this holds the cigar wrapper and will melt and come loose on its own.

DO: Cut only a small portion of the tip of the cigar.

DON’T: Use scissors. Use a sharp cigar cutter. That expensive cigar deserves only the best.


DO: Make use of a butane lighter, torch, or wooden match to spark it up.

DON’T: Use generic wick lighters because these leave a residue that can muddle the taste of the cigar.

DO: Hold the cigar close enough, but not directly touching the flame at a 45-degree angle. You want to toast the cigar as you roll it around in your fingers until the tip turns a warm red.

DON’T: Burn the cut edge over the fire. This will give it a burnt taste.


DO: Puff at your own pace. Long, slow drags are recommended in order to fully enjoy the experience.

DON’T: Rush it. This will burn down the cigar quicker than needed. When the taste has grown too strong for you to handle, this means that the fire is close to the ringband, concentrating the tobacco juices.

DO: Pair your cigar with dark liquors such as brandy, whiskey, or rum. Now, feel and act like the gentleman that you are.

DON’T: Just take our word for it. See what fits your taste and preference best. It might be even good with a cup of hot coffee.


DO: Leave the cigar on the ashtray and it will properly extinguish itself.

DON’T: Kill the ember like you would a cigarette. This will cause ash to fly all over and leave an unpleasant smell in the air, which in turn will piss off your wife (or your dog).

This article originally appeared in our February 2016 2011 issue, under the title "How To Smoke Your Cigar." Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Anton D. Umali
Anton D. Umali is the editor-in-chief of When he isn't busy writing about movies, he's usually consuming them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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