There is wealth of information online regarding cigar smoking & etiquette. Some of this material deals with how you actual handle the cigar itself. Other material deals with how your actions impact both smokers and non-smokers around you. We will be dealing with both aspects of cigar etiquette over the course of time.
Today however, we are going begin by looking at some simple points that pertain to both dynamics.
The first of these points deals with where you can actually smoke. It is a given that any of us should have to right to smoke in our own home or on our own property. That is not so much a matter of cigar etiquette but personal freedom and rights to privacy.
The question marks start getting drawn in our minds when we walk across the thresholds of our homes. At this point, we are in public space, and really need something of a roadmap to follow regarding where we can and cannot smoke.
Assume that any café or bar you visit is going to regard cigar smoking with even more disapproval than cigarette smoking. Smoking, period, is one of the new targets of the politically correct movement. It only creates disturbance to go against this grain, no matter how much we all at times resent it.
Good cigar etiquette calls for class and sensibility on a non-reactive level. If you know you that you and your cigar are not welcome in an establishment, you have a choice to either be gracious, and wait until you go home, or politely claim your own freedom by choosing to go elsewhere.
Good Friends and Special Occasions
Our friends accept us for who we are and sometimes even love us more for our flaws than our virtues.
Nevertheless, they may not always be able to accept our cigar smoking habit. Many people are allergic to any type of smoke, and smoking cigars makes for a notoriously strong smoke to the nostrils of the non smoker.
Cigar etiquette here depends on two factors. One is non-smoker tolerance to smoke, and the other is ventilation. You will find that even your closest friends probably cannot take cigar smoke in the enclosed space of their own apartments or homes. Some who smoke themselves may not want the smell of smoke on their furniture or curtains. On the other hand, nine out of ten probably will not mind one bit if you smoke outside where the wind can blow it away and where the ash can fall on the ground.
Basic cigar etiquette here is very simple and along the lines of other social considerations: ask your host first what he or she is comfortable with and abide by the rules of the home you are in.
To Ash or Not to Ash
Unlike cigarette smoking, which requires constant ashing to keep the end free from ash, letting the ash build up on the cigar is considered good etiquette. Ash actually keeps the smoke cooler and lets you enjoy cigar flavor more.
Letting the ash build up on your cigar also makes you appear more relaxed and at ease. You communicate an aura of neurosis if you are constantly tapping your cigar over an ashtray.
On the other hand, if you let the ash fall on something expensive, this is not going to be good either.
A good rule of cigar etiquette to follow then is very simple: The more expensive the item UNDER your ash, the more often you should keep the foot of your cigar near a cigar ashtray.
It is acceptable cigar etiquette to keep the band on the cigar
There are some people who say that it is bad cigar etiquette to leave a band on a cigar.
Where do people get such ideas?
There is nothing wrong with letting others know what brand you are smoking. In fact, it can often be a great way to start a polite conversation about brands without what might be an unwelcome opinion.
By letting people see, comment, and then responding graciously with your point of view, you can show much greater dignity and cigar etiquette than trying to hide your personal tastes and make too much of an attempt to fit in.