The Ultimate Cigar Etiquette Guide: Do’s & Don’ts


Advanced cigar etiquette is neither a science nor a law. But there are a few unspoken rules cigar connoisseurs follow to fit in any cigar lounge without embarrassing themselves. It’s all a matter of common cigar-smoking sense and being considerate of other people around you. 

So if you want to be a cigar aficionado, it’s vital to follow some basic guidelines to become a fine stogie representative. Cigar etiquette isn’t simply addressed to aristocrats. Knowing cigar do’s and don’ts is a must whether you’re a doctor or a lumberjack.

Of course, we aren’t suggesting that lounges and clubs are only reserved for smokers with the “stiff upper lip” approach. However, there’s a degree of healthy guidelines that will instantly help you look and feel like a pro. Not only will your fellow cigar aficionados appreciate your etiquette, but you’ll also be enjoying the cigar-smoking process much more.

Let’s dive into the world of cigars and the essential tips every smoker should know.

The Cigar Do’s

1. Do Cut Your Cigars Correctly

Cutting your cigar correctly is a form of art. Yet it’s a vital part of advanced cigar etiquette. You might think that using a steak knife, some fabric scissors, or – God forbid – your teeth will do the trick to tip the end of your cigar off. However, it’s simply uncouth, and there’s no excuse for not using a cigar cutter.

Although we do appreciate a good Clint Eastwood impression with a bad-ass chew off of the cigar’s head, this is a no-no. Not only will you ruin your fine cigar, but you’ll also have to deal with a bad taste and unraveling complications. Plus, you’ll have people laughing at you for bad manners. So instead, learn how to properly cut a cigar and choose amongst a variety of cutters depending on your style.

2. Light Your Cigars Properly

Lighting a cigar is more about toasting and less about roasting. Make sure you use a butane lighter or matches and avoid liquid fuel lighters that take away the cigar’s taste. Keep the flame an inch or two away from your cigar — you don’t want to burst the tip into flames, or you’ll taste a nasty mix of charred tobacco and butane in the first puffs. Be patient, as this is a delicate process. Rotate it over the clean flame and take a few puffs as the footlights evenly.

3. Do Ash Your Cigars Gently

Does your lap look like an ashtray? If so, regularly ash your cigar to avoid creating a mess. You don’t have to ash it in an empty can of beer. Instead, use a ceramic or glass cigar ashtray with a deep end to hold a lot of ashes. Most ashtrays also come with cigar rests, which are super convenient for resting between puffs. Some guys like to play around trying to get long ash. We suggest not pushing your luck, especially if you’re sitting in your car or on a couch that’s not yours.

4. Do Share Your Cigars

Sharing is caring. Make sure you bring enough cigars to share with your pals during game nights or get-togethers. No, you don’t have to spend a fortune, as you can easily find excellent cigar bundle deals. On the contrary, this is an opportunity to make your poker nights fun as your buddies will fire up cigar goodies with you.

The Cigar Don’ts

1. Don’t Dip Your Cigar in Whiskey

Some guys think baptizing your cigar in whiskey will bless both with flavor. But that’s not the case. A cigar with a dipped wet end is unsmokable, and the whiskey won’t change the taste. So instead, take a sip of your bourbon between puffs and let the flavors naturally melt on your palate. This way, you’ll also avoid the alcohol mess on your hands and clothes.

2. Don’t Lick Your Cigar

Cigars are not popsicles. Licking their length before firing them or (worse) putting the whole cigar in your mouth is not only ridiculous but also unnecessary. Should I add unsanitary when you later borrow someone else’s cutter to cut the tip of your mouth-watered stick? What you can do instead is take a cold draw from the cigar once you cut it. This will unravel the aromas and flavors without the unneeded saliva.

3. Don’t Cut Your Cigar in Half

I mean, what’s the point in spending money on a cigar’s beautiful construction only to ruin it later by cutting it in half? Let’s not even mention the weird looks you’ll get from your fellow cigar connoisseurs for ruining a masterpiece. If you want to save up, purchase shorter cigars or smoke nub.

4. Don’t Take the Band Off

Cigar bands are part of the smoking aesthetics while providing helpful info on what you smoked in case you want to purchase it again. So don’t take them off before firing your cigar. Instead, wait until you get near the end when you’re roughly an inch away from the band, and peel it off as the fire loosens the adhesive inside the band.

5. Don’t Grind the Cigar in the Ashtray

Twisting or smashing the cigar in the ashtray when you’re done emits a smoldering stale aroma like a cigarette butt. So avoid grinding it, and instead let it burn gracefully on its own. You see, handmade cigars are humidified, so they’ll always burn out in a few minutes. Just make sure you leave the room after the cigar is completely extinguished.

Time to Test the Advanced Cigar Etiquette!

We could go on about analyzing more rules on whether to smoke a cigar before or after dinner, cigar etiquette for ladies, or how to hold a cigar in your mouth. But, hopefully, by now, you have a fair understanding of cigar do’s and don’ts. We hope this will start you on the right foot in the cigar-smoking world and give you a boost to enjoy a better smoking experience.

Cigars are like fine wine; they’re all about class and quality as long as you give your smoke the respect it deserves. So reap the benefits of premium small-batch cigars from delivered right to your door, and start practicing your advanced cigar etiquette today!