How To Puff A Cigar


If you’re new to the world of cigars, there are a few essential tips you should learn to maximize your enjoyment. Properly drawing a cigar is crucial to fully appreciating its flavors. However, making mistakes can mark you as a novice, and nothing screams “beginner” like a fit of coughing from inhaling too deeply. Here are some tips to help you smoke a cigar like a pro.

Choose The Right Cigar

The first step is selecting the right cigar. As a beginner, this might seem overwhelming. Talk to other cigar enthusiasts or ask for recommendations from your local cigar store employee. They can guide you to a suitable choice. Typically, a mild and smooth cigar is recommended for your first experience.

We have numerous articles and videos to help you find the perfect cigar. Our Top 5 lists cover everything from strength and flavor to drink pairings, providing a wealth of information to help you make an informed choice.

Ensure You Have The Correct Accessories

Next, you’ll need some basic cigar accessories. Start simple with a sharp, inexpensive cutter, preferably one with two blades, and either wooden matches or a single-flame butane lighter. There are various styles of cutters, such as guillotine, punch, and v-cut. For a more detailed look, check out our article on different cutting styles.

Start Out Slowly

Choose a mild cigar that allows for an easy draw and lets you savor the flavors. Ask your tobacconist to recommend a few mild cigars and try one from several brands. Avoid shorter cigars initially, as they can burn hotter. A long, fat, mild cigar is ideal for beginners, providing a cooler burn and longer smoke time.

Until you find your preferences, don’t buy too many cigars of one type. Store your new cigars in Ziploc bags until you’re ready to invest in a humidor.

How To Cut Your Cigar

Premium cigars come with a closed head, covered with tobacco to form a rounded end. This end is known as the cap. Look for a distinct line separating the cap from the rest of the wrapper and cut just above this line. Cutting too high can hinder the draw, while cutting too low risks unraveling the cigar. For more details, check out our extensive article on cutting cigars.

How To Light Your Cigar

A butane lighter is ideal, but wooden matches will work in a pinch. Avoid lighters like Bic® that can introduce unwanted chemicals into your smoke. Place the uncut end of the cigar in your mouth, hold it just above the flame, and begin puffing as you rotate the cigar. Continue until the cigar is fully lit and the smoke draws easily.

A popular method is the “1-2-3 method”: take two short puffs followed by one long puff to heat the oils in the cigar evenly. For a detailed guide on lighting your cigar, check out our how-to article.

How To Smoke Your Cigar

With your cigar properly lit, it’s time to relax and enjoy it. Rotate the cigar every 30 to 60 seconds while puffing to keep it lit. Develop a rhythm that allows you to smoke at the right pace for maximum enjoyment.

Never inhale the smoke. Instead, taste and savor it before blowing it out. The goal is to master drawing and expelling the smoke without inhaling it.

Pro Cigar Smoking Tips

Unlike cigarettes, the point of smoking a cigar is to savor the flavors. Draw slowly, a few times a minute, and swirl the smoke in your mouth to experience the full flavor. After swirling, try to draw the smoke to the back of your throat and exhale through your nose. This may take practice but enhances the sensory experience.

Don’t feel the need to flick the ashes after every puff. Most cigars will hold the ash until it’s about a half-inch to an inch long. How often you need to roll off the ash depends on the cigar’s filler and whether there’s a breeze or draft.

How To Finish Your Cigar

You don’t have to smoke a cigar down to the nub. Smoke until you no longer enjoy it. Once a cigar is lit, it should be smoked in one sitting. Proper etiquette calls for placing the finished cigar in an ashtray and allowing it to burn out naturally. Vigorously stubbing out the cigar can look messy.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Drawing on a cigar is an art that takes practice. With a little effort, you’ll soon be smoking like a seasoned aficionado. You might even start to pick up more advanced techniques, such as retrohaling. Happy smoking!

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