Cigar Etiquette and Traditions

by Sid Wilson | Published On

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team, is reader-supported. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission, at no extra cost to you.

Ever since the middle of the eighteenth century in the USA, smoking cigars has been a prominent way to celebrate fun events or merely spend quality time with family and friends. Over the decades, however, there has been the emergence of several etiquettes and traditions around smoking a cigar.

While some people choose to go to a cigar lounge, light up their cigar, and enjoy the atmosphere, there are others who are not yet proficient in the art of smoking.

Whether you are a beginner in the world of cigars or are a pro in this area, there are certain cigar traditions and etiquettes that must be followed to enjoy a cigar properly.

The first rules on cigar etiquettes were written by Zino Davidoff in 1967. There are several cigar lovers out there who religiously follow the rules listed out by Zino regarding the Do’s and Don’ts with a cigar. While some of these guidelines have their basis in tradition, there are others that have come into existence as a result of the evolution of smoking trends.

The Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to smoking cigars are multi-faceted. The most common rules when smoking a cigar state that one should never dip his cigar in either scotch or whiskey, one should never lick his cigar, one should never remove the band of his cigar, and one should never chew off the end of the cigar. There are others who strongly believe that a cigar should never be cut in half, relighted, or ground in an ashtray.

Now while these rules won’t matter when you’re enjoying smoking a cigar at your place, they will be extremely important if you are smoking in a cigar lounge and don’t wish to alienate yourself.

It is common sense that you should never blow smoke in someone’s face, don’t boast or make a show when smoking an expensive cigar, and not leave a pile of ashes on the floor once you’re done smoking.

Irrespective of where you are smoking, ensure that you display mutual respect towards those around you. Following is a list of common traditions that you must follow when smoking a cigar.

Bring a Cigar Cutter and a Lighter


As is obvious, you will need to cut the closed end or the cap of your cigar before you begin smoking it. Make sure that you plan beforehand and bring a cigar cutter with yourself. You can even borrow one from your friend if you did not have the time to buy one yourself.

Note that if you substitute the cigar cutter with a Swiss army knife or any other sharp object, your cigar will not be cut evenly. Therefore, you will not only look as if you are an amateur but also you will lose your tobacco and won’t be able to enjoy an evenly burning cigar.

Moreover, if the cigar was already in your mouth, never use another person’s cigar cutter. Not only will it be unsanitary but also it will be looked up as rude if another person has seen the cigar in your mouth and then you ask for their cigar cutter.

In addition, you must bring your lighter with yourself so that you don’t have to borrow one from someone else.

Light Your Cigar Evenly

When you are lighting your cigar, make sure you don’t directly ignite the cigar. Instead, position the cigar about half an inch away from your lighter ( which is lit ). Then slowly rotate the cigar above the flame of the lighter. Remember to be patient. You will eventually notice a glowing ring at the cap of your cigar which will enable your cigar to burn evenly all through the evening. 

Remember that burying your cigar in the flame will not result in an even burn and you are likely to experience a mix of butane fuel and charred tobacco in the initial puffs. Furthermore, if your facial hair are singed, the flame is very close to you. 

Lighting your cigar evenly is extremely important. You need to toast your cigar but you don’t have to overtoast it. The primary goal is to create an even ash when you smoke your cigar. Note that a cigar which is well-made will burn straight. At the same time, the ash will stay intact for a few inches.

Don’t Dip Your Cigar

If you’re of the perception that dipping your cigar in your drink will enhance its flavor, you are misguided. When you dip your cigar in your drink, all it does is transfer the ashes to your drink and at the same time, does not do anything to enhance the flavor of your puff. If you cannot enjoy the flavor of your cigar, don’t smoke it. Dipping your cigar is not an ideal option to change the flavor of your cigar. If you still want to dip a cigar, go for low-priced options.

Note that your cigar has been designed by professional people who crafted it so that it ought to be enjoyed as it is. If a whiskey-flavored cigar is something that interests you, there are several infused options out there that won’t require dipping the cigar in a drink. In addition, if you drip your cigar in whiskey, you might plug the cigar’s draw by making it wet.

Watch Your Ashes

Keep monitoring the end of your cigar, and don’t forget to gently tap the cigar off in an ashtray before the ashes fall themselves. Note that you need to tap off the cigar gently because the ashes might drop on your lap or that of your neighbors.

A cigar tray consists of a deep dish to hold lots of ashes. This allows you to conveniently dispose of your ashes. However, if you violently knock or flick your cigar, the wrapper might crack, leaving you with a messy, uneven burn. Instead, just twist the ash in the dish of your ashtray. Although there are many people out there who enjoy long ash, it is better not to take a chance if you are sitting on a sofa that you don’t own or if you are in a car.

Don’t Stub Out the Cigar

Once you are done enjoying your cigar, don’t stub it out in the ashtray. Instead, this will result in a mess and create a strong odor that the people around you will not enjoy. What you can do is simply allow your cigar to sit on the side of the ashtray and let it go off naturally. 

Cigars have the tendency to give off a smoldering stale aroma if you mash or twist it in the bottom of the ashtray. Note that your cigar must be fully extinguished before you leave it to itself.

Take Care With Your Half-smoked Cigars

A half-smoked cigar will stink your room in minutes, be it your glove compartment, your room, or your purse. If you can’t leave your half-smoked cigar behind, what you can do is simply store the cigar in a plastic Ziploc bag for not more than one day.

Savor the Experience

Now that you have been well-acquainted with the traditions and etiquettes of smoking a cigar, choose your favorite cigar and savour the experience. Once you follow the above mentioned tips, you will definitely enjoy the smoking experience especially if you are a beginner.

Shop for All of Your Cigar Needs at the Mercantile

Luckily enough, you can shop for all the cigar accessories that you need from the local mercantile shop. Make sure you prepare a list of the accessories that you need beforehand for a smooth shopping experience.


The cigars smokers of the present are not as determined to follow the traditions and etiquttes that the smokers followed in the late 1960s.

Nonetheless, cigar smokers of the present do follow many rules such as respecting a cigar lounge or being polite to others when one is smoking a cigar in public.

There are a few other cigar traditions that must be followed as well. You should never smoke a cigar when you are walking in the public premises. Although you might enjoy the aroma of your cigar, it is by no means an assurance that others around you will also enjoy the smell of the cigar.

There are many people out there who experience allergies, medical conditions, or have serious health problems which might escalate as a result of the smell of a cigar. Always smoke at your home, or a cigar lounge, or in a designated smoking area or in your backyard.

If you’re smoking in a lounge, make sure you follow the rules of the lounge. Each lounge will have its specific smoking rules that must be followed. Note that the basic intent behind these rules is to enhance your overall smoking experience as well as the experience of those around you. If you wish to enjoy smoking a cigar to the fullest, you ought to follow these basic guidelines.

Rate this post
Sid Wilson

Being a father, a golf lover, and an engineer by profession are the things that define Sid Wilson. He spends most of his time in his garage building and experimenting with stuff. Unscrewing things and then screwing them up is his favorite hobby. Doing these things in his garage has made him what, he is today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *