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Tips For A Cigar Novice

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Cigar Smoking

Starting up a new hobby can be intimidating. Going golfing for the first time with a bunch of guys who have been doing it for years can make a beginner feel self-conscious about his lack of prowess on the links. People just learning to play guitar will go for years refusing to play in front of others. Even someone learning to cook might be embarrassed to share a less than savory meal with his family.

Some people might not consider smoking cigars a hobby, but it certainly is a pastime and it has its own intricacies just like anything else. There are traditions and faux pas when it comes to smoking cigars that any old puffer at the country club will notice and call you out on in a heartbeat.

Good-natured as the ribbing may be, it can't hurt to brush up on some cigar "do's and don'ts" before you have a cigar among the aficionados. Included are some suggestions for classy cigars and accessories that will show off your sense of refinement and good taste.

1. It is not a race. Smoking a cigar should be a leisure activity. The best way to start is to smoke as if it is no big deal. Take your time and enjoy it.

2. Trim the end of your cigar with a cigar cutter. Don't try to bite it off with your teeth. This may look cool in the movies but it will just leave you with an unsightly and decidedly uncouth mouthful of tobacco.

3. Don't grind out a cigar in an ashtray. Let it go out on its own. This is a handy technique for being able to re-light a cigar later on. It is also polite to not leave the smudged out remains of tobacco scattered around in an ashtray.

4. If there is less than a quarter left, let it go out in an ashtray. When a cigar starts to get that short, it will begin to lose its flavor. Nothing gold can stay. When it gets to the ¼ mark, it is time to let it go.

5. Don't show off. Nothing screams amateur more than someone who makes a big deal out of smoking a cigar. Cigar holders and fancy smoking techniques are the antithesis of the cool guy casually smoking a cigar. You are allowed to blow smoke rings though. That's a cool trick that's not overtly flashy.

6. Don't chew on it. You are not Peter Parker's grizzled boss at the newspaper. You are not a grunt in World War II. Unless you are being shot at or trying to ruin Spider-Man's good name, chewing on a cigar is just plain gross.

7. Don't ask for a light. Seriously, you are a cigar smoker now. You should be carrying your own lighter around. In the worst case scenario, ask the bartender for a pack of matches.

8. Don't be afraid to let it go out and re-light it later. If you have spent some money on a nice cigar, there is no need to smoke it all at once and no need to waste it. Just scrape the ash off and rotate it over a flame for a moment to catch it again.

9. Take your time warming up the end before you light it. This prevents you from charring the tobacco.

10. Don't smoke one after another. You are not chain smoking cigarettes here. Cigars are meant to be savored. Take your time and enjoy it. When it's done, it's done. Get on with your life for a while before having another.

Smoking cigars isn't like smoking cigarettes. It is a hobby, not a habit. It is the difference between enjoying a fine glass of wine and slamming whiskey before noon. Take to heart these tips and smoke in moderation and you will be on your way in no time.