Cigar Etiquette for Beginners: Dos and Don’ts, Tips, and Guidelines

Understanding the proper etiquette can seem overwhelming for those new to cigar smoking. Cigar smoking is steeped in tradition and culture, and it’s essential to follow specific guidelines to show respect for the cigar and those around you. Learning the dos and don’ts of cigar etiquette can help beginners feel more comfortable and confident when enjoying a cigar.

One of the most essential rules of cigar etiquette is never to rush the smoking process. Cigars are meant to be savored and enjoyed slowly, so taking your time when smoking is essential. Rushing through a cigar can lead to an unpleasant taste and a less enjoyable experience. Additionally, being mindful of those around you when smoking a cigar is essential. Some people may be sensitive to smoke, so it’s important to be considerate and smoke in designated areas.

Another vital aspect of cigar etiquette is properly cutting and lighting the cigar. Beginners should take the time to learn the different cutting and lighting methods to ensure they are doing it correctly. Holding the cigar properly and avoiding any behaviors that may be considered rude or disrespectful is also essential. By following these guidelines, beginners can enjoy a more pleasant and meaningful cigar-smoking experience.

Dos and Don’ts

Do: Choose the Right Cigar

Choosing the right cigar is essential to having an enjoyable smoking experience. Beginners should start with a mild cigar and work up to stronger ones. A good cigar should have a smooth wrapper, be firm to the touch, and have a pleasant aroma. It is also important to store cigars properly to maintain their flavor and freshness.

Don’t: Inhale the Smoke

Unlike cigarettes, cigars are not meant to be inhaled. Inhaling cigar smoke can irritate the lungs and throat. Instead, the smoke should be drawn into the mouth and then exhaled. This allows the smoker to fully appreciate the flavors and aromas of the cigar without the harmful effects of inhaling.

Do: Cut the Cigar Correctly

Properly cutting a cigar is essential to a good smoking experience. A cigar should be cut just above the shoulder, leaving enough of the cap intact to prevent the wrapper from unraveling. A guillotine cutter or cigar scissors are the best tools for the job. It is essential to cut the cigar cleanly and evenly to ensure a smooth draw.

Don’t: Light the Cigar with a Lighter

Using a lighter to light a cigar can result in an uneven burn and a harsh taste. Instead, a wooden match or a butane torch lighter should be used. The flame should be held about an inch away from the cigar and rotated to light the foot evenly. Once the cigar is lit, it should be puffed on gently to ensure an even burn.


For beginners, cigar smoking can be a daunting task. But with a few tips, you can enjoy a cigar like a pro. Here are some tips to help you:

Tip 1: Hold the Cigar Properly

How you hold your cigar is essential. You want to hold it tight enough and tight enough. Hold the cigar between your thumb and index finger, with your other fingers resting underneath the cigar. Make sure not to squeeze the cigar too tightly, which can cause it to burn unevenly.

Tip 2: Pair the Cigar with the Right Beverage

Pairing your cigar with the right beverage can enhance the flavor of both. A good rule of thumb is to pair a light-bodied cigar with a light-bodied drink and a full-bodied cigar with a robust beverage. For example, a light beer or white wine pairs well with a mild cigar, while a dark beer or red wine pairs well with a full-bodied cigar.

Tip 3: Take Your Time

Smoking a cigar is a slow and relaxing process. Take your time and enjoy the experience. Please don’t rush through it or smoke too quickly. Take slow and steady puffs, and let the smoke linger in your mouth before exhaling.

Tip 4: Know When to Put the Cigar Out

Knowing when to put your cigar out is essential. Don’t let it burn all the way down to the end, as this can cause the smoke to become harsh and bitter. Instead, put the cigar out when it reaches the final third or quarter. Let it go out independently, or gently tap it against the ashtray to extinguish it.


When it comes to cigar etiquette, there are some guidelines that beginners should keep in mind to ensure that they are respectful of others and the environment around them. Here are some important guidelines to follow:

Guideline 1: Respect Others

It’s essential to be respectful of others when smoking cigars. This means not smoking in areas that are not allowed and being mindful of those around you who may not appreciate the smell of cigar smoke. If you smoke in a public place, ensure you are not blowing smoke in the direction of others, and try to keep a safe distance from non-smokers.

Guideline 2: Keep Your Cigar Smoke Away from Non-Smokers

While cigar smoke may be enjoyable for some, it can be unpleasant for others. It’s essential to be considerate of non-smokers and keep your cigar smoke away from them. If you smoke in a public area, ensure you are not blowing smoke in the direction of others, and try to keep a safe distance from non-smokers. You should also be mindful of the wind direction, as smoke can easily travel and affect those around you.

Guideline 3: Dispose of Your Cigar Properly

When you are finished smoking your cigar, it’s essential to dispose of it properly. This means not leaving it on the ground or throwing it in the trash. Instead, put it out completely and dispose of it in an ashtray or designated cigar receptacle. If you smoke at a friend’s house or in a public area, ask where you should dispose of your cigar before lighting up.

Guideline 4: Follow the Rules of the Establishment

When smoking cigars in a public area, following the establishment’s rules is essential. This may mean tobacco only in designated smoking areas or not smoking at all in certain regions. If you need clarification on the rules, ask a staff member or look for signs that indicate where smoking is allowed.

For more information about the best cigars and other ways to relax make sure to come back to Scotch & Cigars here.

Glyn Caddell

Glyn Caddell