What not to do when smoking a cigar?


Learn about the common mistakes to avoid when smoking a cigar. Discover the proper techniques and etiquette to enhance your smoking experience.

What not to do when smoking a cigar?


Smoking a cigar is not just an act, it’s an experience. It’s a moment to savor the flavors, enjoy the aroma, and relax. However, there are certain mistakes that can ruin this experience and diminish your enjoyment. In this article, we will explore what not to do when smoking a cigar, so you can fully appreciate the art of cigar smoking.


One of the most common mistakes made by novice cigar smokers is over-puffing. It’s understandable to be excited about your cigar, but puffing too frequently and too forcefully can lead to overheating and a bitter taste. Remember, a cigar is not a cigarette that needs constant inhalation. Take your time, savor each puff, and let the flavors unfold.

Pro tip: Instead of taking rapid puffs, try to take longer, slower draws. This allows the smoke to cool down before reaching your palate, resulting in a more enjoyable smoking experience.

Cutting Incorrectly

The way you cut your cigar can greatly impact its smoking experience. Cutting it too much or too little can result in uneven burning, a tight draw, or even unraveling. Here are a few tips to ensure you cut your cigar correctly:

  • Use a sharp, cigar-specific cutter to make a clean cut.
  • Aim to remove around 1/8th to 1/4th inch of the cap.
  • Cut just above the shoulder of the cigar.

By following these guidelines, you’ll create a smooth opening that allows for an optimal draw and even burn.

Smoking Too Fast

Patience is key when it comes to cigar smoking. Smoking too fast can lead to a hot and harsh smoke. It can also cause the cigar to burn unevenly and require constant relighting. To avoid this, take your time and allow the cigar to rest between puffs. This will prevent overheating and allow the flavors to develop more fully.

Pro tip: Set a slower pace by consciously taking longer breaks between each puff. Use this time to appreciate the flavors, relax, and enjoy the moment.

Ignoring the Ash

While it may seem counterintuitive, allowing the ash to build up on your cigar is actually beneficial. The ash acts as an insulator, helping to regulate the temperature and maintain a consistent burn. Ignoring the ash and constantly tapping it off can disrupt this balance and lead to an uneven burn.

Pro tip: Let the ash naturally fall off on its own. Only tap it off when it becomes too long and risks falling onto your clothes or furniture.

Not Properly Storing

Storing your cigars properly is essential to maintain their quality and flavor. Failing to do so can result in dry and brittle cigars that are difficult to smoke. Here are some key tips for proper cigar storage:

  • Invest in a quality humidor to control temperature and humidity.
  • Keep your cigars at a consistent humidity level of around 70%.
  • Avoid exposing your cigars to extreme temperatures or sunlight.

By following these storage guidelines, you’ll ensure that your cigars are in prime condition when it’s time to smoke them.


Q: Can I relight a cigar that has gone out?

A: Yes, you can relight a cigar that has gone out. Simply remove the ash and gently blow on the foot to reignite the ember. Remember to take a couple of purging puffs to clear any stale smoke before continuing.

Q: How long should I wait between puffs?

A: There is no set rule for how long you should wait between puffs. However, it’s generally recommended to wait at least 30 seconds to a minute to allow the flavors to develop and prevent overheating.

Q: Can I smoke a half-finished cigar later?

A: It is possible to save a half-finished cigar for later, but it may not provide the same experience as smoking it in one sitting. If you do choose to save it, make sure to properly store it in a humidor to maintain its quality.


By avoiding these common mistakes, you can enhance your cigar smoking experience and fully appreciate the nuances of flavor and aroma. Remember to take your time, cut the cigar correctly, smoke at a leisurely pace, pay attention to the ash, and store your cigars properly. Enjoying a cigar is an art, and with the right techniques and etiquette, you can elevate it to a truly memorable experience.

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