Even with all the wild, wacky and dumbass hijinks you see daily on the internet, there’s one place where etiquette is still the norm – the cigar lounge. Not surprisingly, Zino Davidoff is credited for what we call “cigar etiquette” today. He even wrote a book about it, and I can’t think of a better person to write such a book than Mr. Davidoff. Zino was the quintessential “gentleman,” from his grooming, to his clothes, right down to the way he smoked his cigars. I’m talking “Old World” manners; when men opened doors for women, and removed their hat when entering a room. Though some of those customs have survived, today anything goes. But step into a traditional cigar lounge and you’ll think you stepped into the Bizarro world. I’m not saying that cigar lounges are for the stiff upper lip type; quite the contrary. That said, there are some guidelines that will help you become a better cigar smoker. Even some of Mr. Davidoff’s rules are a little too Victorian by today’s standards. For example: holding the cigar between your index finger and thumb, rather than your index and middle fingers. Zino felt the former method was more “elegant.” He may have had a point, but the way you hold your cigar is pretty much considered your own business. Another is removing the band so as not to “advertise” how costly (or cheap, for that matter) your cigar is. Though many cigar smokers still apply this rule, it appears to have faded over time, since a lot of other smokers want to know what you’re smoking. It’s also a great conversation starter. More often than not today, the band comes off when the ash gets too close. Continue reading
Please bear with me while I climb on my soapbox and rant for a minute or two to give you my two cents on how to properly extinguish cigars
On occasion, while enjoying a cigar in mixed company, my nostrils have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous odor. This is a direct result of stubbing out of a cigar like a cigarette, a process that transforms the intoxicating aroma of even the finest cigar into a malodorous, offensive affair. That stench is capable of turning-off even the most die-hard aficionado. It’s also terrible form.
An office-mate of mine (who really ought to know better, mind you) has a habit of not using the proper technique to extinguish cigars. When he finishes smoking, he dutifully grinds it down
into the ashtray before walking out of the room, thus escaping the foul stench he has just created. I’ve since brought the matter to his attention, and I’ll admit he has seen the error of his ways.
Good form dictates than when one is finished with his cigar, he lays it down in the ashtray to die a dignified death. This method of simply laying it down is the only proper way to extinguish cigars, and is just common courtesy and good cigar smoking etiquette. After all, hundreds of hands have worked together to produce your beloved vitola; it is a product born of the earth and enjoyed in a moment of leisure and relaxation. Surely it deserves a kinder fate than that of a cigarette.
But perhaps more important is that the gases and tars contained within a cigar are mashed up and expelled when ground out. Cigars that are stubbed out aren’t going to go out any faster than those that are left to go out by themselves, so unless you’re doing it for dramatic effect, leave the stubbing out to cigarette smokers.