Unlike cigarettes, cigars are equated with a certain element of class. Thus, it is especially important for those new to cigar smoking to understand the etiquette. In Cuban culture in the 1800s, for instance, it was impolite to let another person light their cigar with yours without first flicking the ashes off.
All the etiquette of cigars and the background of these rules was published in a 1967 book called “Zino Davidoff’s Guide to Cigar Etiquette.” In his book, Davidoff touches on etiquette guidelines like don’t smoke the cigar until its last few inches or don’t ask for a light. These old-fashioned rules about etiquette can be far removed from modern society where old world politeness is rarely considered and some are not intuitive. Modern cigar smokers can’t be expected to read a novel of rules and expectations before heading to a lounge, so we’ll walk you through the basics.
1. Don’t extinguish a cigar like you would a regular cigarette. Generally, the last few inches of a cigar will have a more bitter taste. If stubbed out like a cigarette, the cigar will emit an unpleasant smell as well as a mess that the next person will have to clean up. Instead of extinguishing it like this, just set it in the ash tray and let it go out on its own.
2. Don’t offend non-smokers. No one likes having to deal with a coworker or family member whose clothes always smell like smoke and with foul breath. When smoking before a social event or work, brush your teeth and use mouthwash afterwards. Some cigar enthusiasts invest in silk smoking jackets, which are both fashionable and functional as they allow smokers to bask in the smokey lounges without their clothes soaking in the smell.
3. Wait between cigars. Cigar smoking should be a relaxing experience not a race. It is considered impolite to chain smoke cigars without waiting at least 15 minutes between them. Not only is it etiquette, it also allows you to clear your palate before starting with another flavor.
4. Don’t have a cigar in your mouth while doing other activities like having a conversation or walking. Talking with someone with a cigar dangling out of your mouth is the height of disrespect. Instead, remove it from your mouth before talking. Instead of walking while smoking, either extinguish it or just hold it.
There are plenty more etiquette rules and guidelines about cigar smoking, but most lounges will be forgiving of beginners. So to sum it up, just be polite and respectful of others, both cigar smokers and non cigar smokers, and treat it like the relaxing and enjoyable activity that it is.