Cigars 101

How to Smoke a Cigar With Proper Timing

Reading Time: 3 minutes

WAIT! DON’T FLIP PAST THIS ARTICLE! I swear to you, I’m not going to tell you to snip, light, and puff until you burn your lips off. Come on now, do you really think an Advisor of my caliber would give you an article that bland and obvious? Okay, so don’t answer that. I’m still a newer writer and need to build up as much confidence as I can before the masses tear me apart. Anyway, like I said, I’m not going to simply tell you how to puff, but I’m going to let you in on how to smoke like a pro and correct burn issues that may occur and make sure your burn is straight as a line segment from point A to point B (and my Geometry teacher said I wasn’t paying attention) before they even start. You may not realize it, but smoking a cigar is a lot harder than it seems.


Now we do a lot of smoking over here at Cigar Advisor. We have all those cigar review videos over on YouTube (Oh, you haven’t seen them? Go to and check it out) which is preceded by smoking a ton of cigars to write a proper review and express our opinions on video. You may be thinking “This kid’s taste buds must be shot from all that smoking and heat hitting his tongue!” You would be correct in saying that if I didn’t know how to smoke properly, and by that I mean timing my cigar. A lot of veterans that come into the shop here like to puff away while solving all of the world’s problems, and I see them run through Toros and Robustos in a half hour sometimes. It doesn’t surprise me that they drink the heaviest of beers, smoke the heaviest of cigars, and salt the hell out of their food- it’s because they’re burning the shit out of their taste buds!


When smoking a cigar, pacing is key to enjoying all of the flavors a cigar is meant to have. This means not puffing eight times on a cigar in a row to try and get a room filling cloud. Cigars are supposed to be relaxing, right? So why plow through one when they’re meant to be smoked slowly. Instead of puffing on your cigar every 10 seconds, put it down for a minute or so. At least give it a few seconds so the ember cools down to slowly burn the next section of the cigar. This way it won’t prematurely singe any tobacco which will cause an ashy, bitter taste when smoking. It also allows the cigar to cool down enough so when you reach the end of the cigar, heat doesn’t assault your tongue. Also, make sure you rotate the cigar as you smoke it. Smoking with the same side up will cause the bottom to burn faster than the top. By rotating it, heat is more evenly distributed throughout the surface area of the cigar, and it will create a perfect burn which can again improve flavor.


So yes, the way you smoke a cigar makes a difference. It can make a huge difference. It can be the difference between an even burning, great tasting cigar or a lopsided, foul tasting, tongue burning piece of junk. Cigars are meant to be relaxing, so take your time with it. No one who is smoking a cigar is in a race against time unless you lit up a robusto when you have a business meeting in 20 minutes, and if you do that, you’re kind of a dolt. Make sure you have time to smoke your cigar and puff for flavor, not speed. You took cigars up as a hobby for a reason. To power through a cigar improperly is simply a waste of money and a discredit to the hobby that you once loved. For shame.

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Jonathan DeTore

Jonathan DeTore

My job here is pretty simple - I write stuff, I post stuff to Facebook, and I take it to the house consistently at the weekly slam drunk contest. I do it all while sipping on a fine glass of cognac at my desk (don’t tell my boss), and wearing cashmere slippers. Let’s just say "The Hef" has nothing on me.

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