Cigars 101

How to Act in a Cigar Lounge

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A cigar lounge is a great place to smoke where you can meet other cigar lovers and learn more about them is at a cigar lounge. It is a place to learn about the culture of smoking, etiquette, and immerse yourself with knowledge about cigar brands, flavors, trends, and family names. A lot of people that are members of a lounge go there to relax and it is their place away from home to enjoy what they are smoking. If you have never been to a lounge before there is a certain etiquette that you should know about before becoming a member or spending the day in a lounge with a cigar.

If you are a cigar aficionado or have mastered the techniques of properly smoking, do not point out faults in other smokers. Smoking is a personal preference and everyone has their own way to smoke and enjoy a stick. You should never tell someone how to smoke unless you are asked. Do not interrupt someone mid-puff and tell them they are inhaling wrong, and do not stop someone while they are lighting their stick and give them pointers for example.

Another important rule of etiquette in a lounge is to not be on your cell phone allowing others to hear your conversation. If you have to make or take a phone call, do it outside. Most lounges are fairly quiet and it is a place to relax and get to know fellow cigar lovers. If you are there to work on your laptop or conduct business, please put the sound very low or have it muted.

Part of knowing the etiquette of a certain lounge is knowing the people who are members. It is helpful to get to know the staff and smokers so you will know what is acceptable or not. Some lounges have televisions and computers for you to use, so it would be ok for you to bring in a movie or request a show to watch. Also, some members of a lounge set up weekly poker games or card games. How people act in a lounge will help you to interact with the staff and other members.

Keep in mind that when you are trying to get to know people, do not steal every conversation or interrupt. It is proper etiquette in any situation to allow people to finish talking and to not jump into a conversation and trying to change the topic.

Another rule of etiquette is to not be boastful, especially in a cigar lounge. You do not want to suggest to other members that your cigars are better than theirs or that you have the best humidor. Smoking cigars is very personal because we each have our own preferences for strengths, flavors, shapes, sizes, and brands. Let each cigar smoker enjoy and love what they have chosen to smoke.

There are cigar lounges all over the world and they are great places to smoke. It is a place to be surrounded by all things cigar related. You can make friends, talk about cigars, and learn more about the culture of smoking. It is a place for both men and women so ladies, do not be afraid to join one. When you are joining a lounge, be sure to remember these rules of etiquette.

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Bob
11 years ago

What’s the etiquette on bringing your own cigars vs. buying them at the lounge?

Usually I’m not in the lounge long enough to smoke more than 1 cigar (even at well over a puff a minute sometimes, even corona cigars often last me over 70 minutes).

I’m certainly not going to bring a bunch of my own cigars to the shop and smoke there all day without spending a dime, but would it be generally acceptable to buy a cigar at the shop, then smoke one or two cigars I brought from home?

Would the answer to this depend on whether the cigars I bring from home are sold at the shop in question? (Famous’ prices are much cheaper for most cigars)

Thanks!

Bob
11 years ago

What’s the etiquette on bringing your own cigars vs. buying them at the lounge?

Usually I’m not in the lounge long enough to smoke more than 1 cigar (even at well over a puff a minute sometimes, even corona cigars often last me over 70 minutes).

I’m certainly not going to bring a bunch of my own cigars to the shop and smoke there all day without spending a dime, but would it be generally acceptable to buy a cigar at the shop, then smoke one or two cigars I brought from home?

Would the answer to this depend on whether the cigars I bring from home are sold at the shop in question? (Famous’ prices are much cheaper for most cigars)

Thanks!

Gary Korb
11 years ago

Hi Bob,
I once wrote a short piece about this a while back. At that time, there were some stores that wouldn’t even let you in, or toss you out if you brought your own cigars. I’m sure there are still some today that do the same thing, but in this economy they may be grateful for anyone stopping by. That said, you’ve got the right attitude. Most stores don’t mind if you bring in your own smokes, since it’s very likely that you purchased the cigars in that particular store; That’s also assuming you’re a regular customer. Suffice it to say, the store owner would probably prefer you purchased something while you were there. I mean, put yourself in his/her shoes. However, I knew a cigar store manager who said she never minded customers bringing in their own cigars – even if they didn’t purchase anything. When I asked her why, she said, ” Because if I make them feel comfortable, they’ll keep coming back, and one day they’re going to need cigars, or a lighter, or a humidor, whatever, and they’re going to buy it from me.”
Gary Korb
CigarAdvisor.com

Bob
11 years ago

Gary,

Thanks for the response.

I think a key part here is simply developing relationships with the staff at the tobacco store, and generally not being a jerk. I’m new enough that I like to talk to them and ask questions, and have found that most clerks like to talk the talk, as long as things are somewhat slow.

I see going to a cigar store/lounge to smoke similar to how many people go to coffee shops to work or study: you’re taking up space at their location, so you need to be courteous to store staff and other customers and at least spend a few bucks there (more if it’s packed). Beyond that, it goes down to the store policy and the relationship you have with others there.

One store I occasionally purchase cigars at has signs that require a “$5 lighting fee” for cigars smoked there but not purchased there. I find that off-putting and a bit short-sighted.

Not sure what the policy is at another shop near me, but I’ll politely ask the next time I’m there. If they have no problem with the “buy one, bring one, smoke two” thing, I may find myself going there once a week. If they do, I’ll smoke more at home and go there much less often.

As a total aside, my local tobacco shop reports that their customer base is 80+% black- this in an upscale yuppie neighborhood that is 95+% white. Looks like for some groups the cigar shop may have supplanted the barber shop as a place for men to chill and gossip- would be fascinating to see a sociological or marketing study on cigar smoker demographics and culture.

Gary Korb
11 years ago

Hi Bob,
I once wrote a short piece about this a while back. At that time, there were some stores that wouldn’t even let you in, or toss you out if you brought your own cigars. I’m sure there are still some today that do the same thing, but in this economy they may be grateful for anyone stopping by. That said, you’ve got the right attitude. Most stores don’t mind if you bring in your own smokes, since it’s very likely that you purchased the cigars in that particular store; That’s also assuming you’re a regular customer. Suffice it to say, the store owner would probably prefer you purchased something while you were there. I mean, put yourself in his/her shoes. However, I knew a cigar store manager who said she never minded customers bringing in their own cigars – even if they didn’t purchase anything. When I asked her why, she said, ” Because if I make them feel comfortable, they’ll keep coming back, and one day they’re going to need cigars, or a lighter, or a humidor, whatever, and they’re going to buy it from me.”
Gary Korb
CigarAdvisor.com

Bob
11 years ago

Gary,

Thanks for the response.

I think a key part here is simply developing relationships with the staff at the tobacco store, and generally not being a jerk. I’m new enough that I like to talk to them and ask questions, and have found that most clerks like to talk the talk, as long as things are somewhat slow.

I see going to a cigar store/lounge to smoke similar to how many people go to coffee shops to work or study: you’re taking up space at their location, so you need to be courteous to store staff and other customers and at least spend a few bucks there (more if it’s packed). Beyond that, it goes down to the store policy and the relationship you have with others there.

One store I occasionally purchase cigars at has signs that require a “$5 lighting fee” for cigars smoked there but not purchased there. I find that off-putting and a bit short-sighted.

Not sure what the policy is at another shop near me, but I’ll politely ask the next time I’m there. If they have no problem with the “buy one, bring one, smoke two” thing, I may find myself going there once a week. If they do, I’ll smoke more at home and go there much less often.

As a total aside, my local tobacco shop reports that their customer base is 80+% black- this in an upscale yuppie neighborhood that is 95+% white. Looks like for some groups the cigar shop may have supplanted the barber shop as a place for men to chill and gossip- would be fascinating to see a sociological or marketing study on cigar smoker demographics and culture.

Gary Korb
11 years ago

Hi Bob,

I think your coffee shop analogy is interesting. Reminds me of what I see in my local Barnes & Noble store. Of course, it’s much easier to develop that important relationship with the manager in a tobacco store, too.

A $5 “lighting fee?” Are they kidding? That’s beyond the pale. The “buy 1/bring 1” sounds like a fair way to go. I can’t speak for stores other than the Famous Smoke Shop Retail Store, but they often have specials where you can “Buy 2 (or 3), Get 1 Free,” etc., so depending on the store, it may actually pay to make that visit once or twice a week. Besides, it’s a great way to try new cigars at a decent discount.

Regarding the demographic makeup of that one store. All I can tell you is, the 80% group that frequent the store seem to be a lot hipper than the overall majority of the neighborhood, most of whom are probably not smokers anyway. ;-)

G~

Gary Korb
11 years ago

Hi Bob,

I think your coffee shop analogy is interesting. Reminds me of what I see in my local Barnes & Noble store. Of course, it’s much easier to develop that important relationship with the manager in a tobacco store, too.

A $5 “lighting fee?” Are they kidding? That’s beyond the pale. The “buy 1/bring 1” sounds like a fair way to go. I can’t speak for stores other than the Famous Smoke Shop Retail Store, but they often have specials where you can “Buy 2 (or 3), Get 1 Free,” etc., so depending on the store, it may actually pay to make that visit once or twice a week. Besides, it’s a great way to try new cigars at a decent discount.

Regarding the demographic makeup of that one store. All I can tell you is, the 80% group that frequent the store seem to be a lot hipper than the overall majority of the neighborhood, most of whom are probably not smokers anyway. ;-)

G~

John Pullo

John Pullo

Editor in Chief

This is not his picture, nor does he even have a beard. A solid 'B' student and occasional low-fi musician, John is a medley of cynicism and sarcasm crammed into a wrinkled Oxford shirt who makes it nearly intolerable to watch reality television with him in the same room. Interestingly, his Social Security number is all ones.

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