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What should I do if I find a “plug” in my cigar?

If your primo is slow on the draw it could be the result of a “plug.” A plug is a blockage that sometimes occurs in the cigar and keeps it from drawing properly. This could be anything from a piece of leaf that’s packed too tight to a stray stem that got into the bunch before rolling. Many plugs tend to occur near the “head” (drawing end) which makes the cigar very hard or even impossible to smoke. The recommended method for unplugging a cigar is to gently massage the cigar between your fingers. A persistent smoker can attempt to massage the location of the knot in order to try to loosen the bunch, but care should be taken to prevent cracking the wrapper. It helps if you slightly moisten your fingertips before massaging the cigar. Most often the problem is that the roller has twisted the filler tobacco while making the bunch. If this is the case, massaging isn’t going to help. Some smokers will make a desperate attempt to unplug a cigar by using a toothpick. Not only is it risky – because you can very easily poke right through the wrapper – it often doesn’t work. Unfortunately, plugs are inevitable if you smoke a lot of cigars. Fortunately, they’re more the exception than the rule.

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