About Finck

The Basics of Smoking Cigars

What’s right? What’s wrong? How do you even hold it? These are normal questions, so to offer some direction we’ve got a few basics of smoking cigars.

  1. Lighting up. The little miniature guillotines you’ve seen in movies are actually pretty essential to smoking a cigar. Some are ornate, but you can find inexpensive clippers at any cigar store—or you can use a knife as a last result. Clip off the “head” of the cigar (the end you put in your mouth) and light the foot with a match or butane lighter. Never burn the end itself; instead, hold the cigar close to the flame and inhale to ignite it. Every gas station sells plastic cigarette lighters, but their fuels and odors can permanently ruin the taste of even the best cigars.
  2. The act itself. Unlike with cigarettes, you’re not meant to inhale cigars into your lungs. Their smoke carries health risks, and the taste doesn’t change. Hold the cigar between your thumb and fingers and puff on it leisurely to let the flavor linger. Smoking is a slow pleasure. Ashes should drop in an ashtray naturally—don’t even waste the effort to knock them away.
  3. When to end. You might enjoy cigars so much you want them to last as long as possible, but it’s proper to leave at least two inches from the head. The base of every cigar will taste bitter and can ruin the whole experience, so don’t smoke beyond this line. If you loved the experience enough, you can always smoke again soon.