Okay, I am now going to take some time to supply some cigar-smoking etiquette tips.
I’m El Jefe, and I’m here to help you. As everyone knows, I am the Emily Post of cigar smoking. Also, you’re my friend, so I don’t want you to embarrass yourself — or me.
As a side note, rules of etiquette do not necessarily make sense to everyone. They can be traditional rules developed through the ages. Other times, they are simply a question of manners. Moreover, you may not agree with all these rules of etiquette and therefore, may not practice all of them (I don’t). I’m just making you aware. As I said earlier, I’m here to help you.
You’re not a chimney, so take your time. Taking a puff on the cigar about once per minute is a good pace. Chances are, you paid a decent price for your cigar, so take time to enjoy it. Try to find the fine line between taking some time and not having to relight your cigar too many times. It’s not a “race to the finish,” nor have I ever heard of a cigar-smoking race where the winner is the one who smokes his double corona the fastest.
You’re not a jerk, so don’t use your middle finger. A novice holds his cigar between his index finger and middle finger; an aficionado holds it between his index finger and thumb. I don’t know why this is a rule of etiquette, but it is. Bonus tip: don’t hold the cigar between your ring finger and middle finger, sticking it up at others, imitating a gigantic middle finger with your cigar and laughing like a junior high boy.
You’re not a show-off, so remove the band. This rule of etiquette is an old one and often not practiced anymore; it is considered “optional.” The traditional thought, though, is that you remove the cigar band so that you are not showing off the fact that you are smoking an expensive cigar. Some follow the lead of the host. If the host removes his band, others follow. Bonus tip: don’t remove the cigar band with pliers.
You’re not incompetent, so light the cigar yourself. You’re not smoking a cigarette, either, so don’t “ask someone for a light.” It’s acceptable to ask to borrow someone’s torch lighter, but light it yourself.
You’re not obsessive, so wait a while between smokes. Once you finish a cigar, with a few minutes before lighting up again. Some say that not taking some time between sticks is a sign of obsessive behavior. Bonus tip: don’t ask someone if you can take a drag on his cigar. That’s rude and unsanitary.
Related: there is etiquette to lighting cigars. Please read my post on cigar lighting tips. The article shows, among other things, that one should toast the foot of the cigar before lighting it.
You’re not a sadist, so don’t mutilate your cigar. When cutting your cigar, use the proper tool to cut it. Use a suitable sharp cutter, such as a guillotine, v-cut, or punch. Cutting your cigar with a penknife or biting it off with your teeth (then spitting it out) is unacceptable. Bonus tip: don’t cut your cigar with a bolt cutter.
Don’t put your foot in your mouth. This rule of etiquette says that the cigar is not to be smoked down to the foot. Some say that you should not smoke more than three-fourths of the cigar, while others want to get their money’s worth. The former contend that smoking it too close to the foot results in a harsher smoke. The latter doesn’t give a flip. A similar rule is that if your cigar is down to its last one-fourth and it goes out, don’t relight; instead, retire the cigar.
Related: Pastor Smokey has a foot fetish, as indicated in his post, Cigars by the Foot. You can tell that he is not just making a bunch of puns, but “puts his best foot forward” in this article.
You’re not Winston Churchill, so don’t dip your cigar in brandy. This was commonly practiced by the prime minister. However, today dipping cigars is considered by many to be taboo. While smoking cigars aged in bourbon or other whiskey barrels is perfectly acceptable, dipping them before smoking is not. Bonus tip: don’t dip your cigar in milk.
There you go. I hope I helped. Now you won’t look like a lunatic.
Discuss it! Agree with these rules? As I indicated earlier, I’m afraid I have to disagree with all of them. Seinfeld fans and others: air your grievances here, or scroll down and add your comments.