Cigar smoking is a non-hurried, languorous (if you will) affair that must be savored and enjoyed to the fullest. Allow yourself enough time – half an hour, at least – to smoke your cigar, to taste and savor the complex aromas and subtle flavors of the smoke.

The proper way of holding your cigar is to hold it between your index finger and thumb. Smoke slowly, one puff per minute is ideal. Sit back, relax, and try to have a drink that complements the richness of the cigar, enjoy.

Never inhale the smoke from your cigar or swallow the residue of any tobacco product. This could make you ill because of the smoke’s high alkalinity and high nicotine amount. You can enjoy the flavor of your cigar of choice without inhaling the smoke.
If the cigar goes out, as it sometimes does after you’ve smoked it halfway through, or if you smoke too slowly, just relight your cigar as you would a fresh cigar. Remember to tap it first to gently on the ashtray to remove any clinging ash and then blow it to clear out stale smoke, before relighting.
Among cigar aficionados, it is considered unnecessary, even bad form to flick the cigar to make the ash fall prematurely. Unlike cigarette ash, cigar ash is sturdier and can last longer before falling on its own weight. This is because cigars are constructed more densely and some consider the length of the ash as one indicator of quality.

In any case, ash build-up is actually good, since it creates an air block, helping to cool the cigar. Too long, however, and it can completely block the airflow and will cause irregular combustion. I must confess I’m one of those who find some pleasure in seeing just how long the ash can be maintained before it falls off, on its own. Rolling the ash gently on the ashtray to remove it, every 1/2 or 1 inch of build-up may be appropriate.

How far down should you smoke it? Sometimes, during the last couple of inches, the cigar lets off excessive heat and leaves an aftertaste in your mouth, so it may be time to put it out. Some people, though, vastly enjoy the progression of tastes they experience in superior cigars and will relish smoking these last two inches or until they can actually feel the heat in their fingers.

When putting out a cigar, don’t crush it on an ashtray. It’s not cigarette. Just place it on the rim of the ashtray and allow it to go out on its own. Dispose of the stub immediately to avoid leaving the tenacious smell of cold tobacco.

Congratulations, you’ve finished your first cigar and I sincerely hope it’s been a pleasant and memorable experience for you. In our next posts, we will examine the many different facets of how to smoke a cigar, including its social aspects and etiquette of cigar smoking, to provide you with a fine introduction on the subject.