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I want to smoke a cigar but don't want to look like a fool.

I used to smoke cigarettes and will occassionaly sometimes have another one...not often.

I want to take up having an occassional cigar, though. I have a friend who smokes them and has talked to me about getting together to have a cigar. I want to but don't want to look like a fool smoking one.

Silly question, but how does a newbie go about smoking a cigar. You don't inhale, right? I've always heard you don't but feel weird not inhaling and instead holding it in my mouth.

I feel like a kid asking how to drive a car....
 
I'd be honoroed to get a brown leaf badge but not sure how since it's new...right?

Ok, so I don't inhale. Just draw the smoke into my mouth and blow it back out, yeah?
 
I'd be honoroed to get a brown leaf badge but not sure how since it's new...right?

Ok, so I don't inhale. Just draw the smoke into my mouth and blow it back out, yeah?

Correct. You can try inhale if you like but you will likely end up in a coughing fit, more so if you are just starting to smoke them.
 
Google/Youtube would help get you some pointers if you want to explore anything further, but since you came here for advice we can't just turn you out to google now can we?

Step 1 would be to respect the cigar and ritual. Make sure you cut the end with a cigar cutter or very sharp knife. I recently witnessed someone bite the end off of a cigar at a new years party and it wasn't pretty. If your friend has a punch or something a little different from your regular 5-10$ cutter, and you'd like to try that, ask him to use it when you get there.

Lighting - there are plenty of videos on how to do this, and either matches or a torch lighter are the way to go (personal preference here) once again if your friend smokes a lot of cigars you could easily borrow his fancy cigar lighter!

As far as smoking, take medium sized puffs and let the flavors roll across your palate. Cigars are obviously a much more contemplative smoke opposed to a cigarette. You'll undoubtedly smoke your first few quicker than you should. Just practice taking slow even draws. Also, feel free to let the ash accumulate quite a bit. It helps the stogie to burn more evenly if you're not constantly flicking off the ash.

These would be my beginner tips. I'm not a huge cigar guy, I really enjoy my pipes more, but I have smoked a few dozen cigars so I'm far from clueless.

Also, don't be afraid to ask your friend any questions during the smoke. We all had to start somewhere!
 
Inhaling a cigar is based on two things. The culture you come from and the quality of the cigar.

The US has a cultural taboo against inhaling a cigar, but many countries inhale cigars. It is not the same as smoking a cigarette- you'll get sick doing that. It is a slow leisurely inhale once in a while.

This will result in a much greater intake of nicotine, you can get so buzzed your knees will buckle when you stand, if you are not monitoring the situation or you are not used to it.

I quite enjoy inhaling a good quality cigar.

The second factor in why americans don't inhale cigar is that 90% of the cigars smoked here are trash. The quality is so low that it is not possible to enjoy inhaling them. "Tips" were created so that you avoid touching the foulness.

Since you are/were a cigarette smoker it is your call whether you inhale or not, since you can probably handle the nicotine blast. Take your cues from your host and the quality of the cigar.

Greater areas of concern for cigar newbies are trying to avoid chewing/slobbering the bit of the cigar into a blooming soggy mess, and controlling the excess saliva that often occurs when one first begins smoking cigars (do you spit or swallow?) Swallowing will ruin your meal or make you sick, spitting is really not acceptable unless your setting is rusticated enough to allow it.

Good luck!
 
Nobody has mentioned this but I was taught it by the teenager who taught me to smoke cigars when I was a teenager, and I've enjoyed practicing it with cigars, pipes, and hookahs since: Place your tongue near the front of your mouth in the stream of smoke that comes in while you draw, to get a direct blast of flavor. (Draw method, as described above, is like sucking a drink through a straw.)
 
I don't think I saw it mentioned, but blowing the smoke out through the nasal cavity will expand the experience. There is alot of smell/taste association that you will miss out on if you dont do it at least several times per smoke. Granted this isnt for every puff. Just every few to get the sense of a few new notes that your pallete may not be recieving.
 
I don't think I saw it mentioned, but blowing the smoke out through the nasal cavity will expand the experience. There is alot of smell/taste association that you will miss out on if you dont do it at least several times per smoke. Granted this isnt for every puff. Just every few to get the sense of a few new notes that your pallete may not be recieving.

+1 to this... so long as it's not one of those cases where the tobacco burns the hell out of your nasal cavity.
 
controlling the excess saliva that often occurs when one first begins smoking cigars (do you spit or swallow?) Swallowing will ruin your meal or make you sick, spitting is really not acceptable unless your setting is rusticated enough to allow it.

Anybody have any further thoughts on this? How do you avoid excess saliva, and icky saliva?
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
When smoking a pipe I clench almost all the time. When smoking a cigar I can't. Having my jaw open that wide for that long makes me drool like a St. Bernard.

Pace youself so you are taking a puff, or 2 in a row once a minute should help keep things under control.
 
I think one of the biggest mistakes is when someone new smokes the cigar way too fast. General rule of them for me is to wait till the glowing ring disappears before taking more puffs.
 
Casey:
For myself, the Corona (or 'crown' in Spanish), ring gauge simply represents the classic Havana format and the 'benchmark' for
the industry.
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Although, through the years I have smoked different sizes, my ring gauge of choice is the Corona format (5½ x 42), not only for it's size (which doesn't look silly in regard to the shape of my face), the comfortable feel between my fingers, but for it's smoking time (approx 45min). Other than that, and on a regular basis, any bigger (or shorter), cigar just doesn't 'sit well' with my appearance and/or feel good in my mouth or in my hands.

Read More: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/196573-Cigar-Ring-Size?highlight=

Read More: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/179878-Gentleman-s-Essentials-for-Pipe-and-Cigar

Read More: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/274705-Cigar-Snob-An-Introduction?highlight=
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"Smoking cigars is like falling in love. First, you are attracted by its shape; you stay for its flavor, and you must always remember never to let the flame go out”! Sir Winston S. Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS & RA
 
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