7 Power Rookie Mistakes Every Cigar Smoker Should Avoid

Cigar smoking is a refined art, one that requires practice, patience, and passion. It is no wonder that novices can sometimes fumble. But fear not! By recognizing the most common rookie mistakes, you can elevate your experience from beginner blunders to seasoned savoir-faire. Let’s delve into the intriguing world of cigars and the rookie mistakes to avoid for cigar smokers.

Choosing the Right Cigar

Selecting a cigar that aligns with your preference is half the battle won. Being able to distinguish between quality brands and understanding cigar sizes will guide your journey.

Recognizing Quality Brands

In the vast ocean of cigar brands, how does one make an informed choice? Begin with renowned brands like Cohiba or Romeo y Julieta. Familiarizing yourself with the origin, such as Cuban or Dominican, can also give you a hint about the flavor profile and strength.

Decoding Cigar Sizes

Cigars vary in size and shape. From Robusto to Churchill, each size offers a unique experience. Picking the right size based on how long you plan to smoke is key. Remember, size does influence flavor, but it’s more about the journey than the destination.

Lighting and Smoking Etiquettes

The act of lighting a cigar is just as essential as smoking it. Perfecting this art can elevate your experience.

The Art of Lighting

Toasting the foot of the cigar gently with a butane lighter or cedar spill ensures even burning. Avoid petrol lighters at all costs as they can taint the cigar’s flavor.

Proper Puffing

Take your time between puffs. Rushing can overheat the cigar, altering its intended flavor. Aim for a puff every minute or so.

Storing Cigars

Storage is crucial. Proper humidity and temperature conditions ensure the longevity and quality of your cigars.

Humidity Control

Cigars thrive at a humidity level of 68-72%. A well-maintained humidor can be your best friend, keeping your cigars fresh and flavorful.

The Right Temperature

Store cigars at temperatures between 65-70°F. Extreme temperatures can lead to cigar beetles, ruining your precious collection.

Pairing Cigars

Enhance your smoking experience by pairing your cigar with the right drink or avoiding certain foods.

Best Drinks to Accompany

From single malt whiskies to aged rums, the right drink can complement a cigar’s flavor profile. Coffee is another excellent choice for morning smokes.

What Foods to Avoid

Spicy foods can overpower the delicate flavors of a cigar. It’s best to stick with neutral foods before a smoking session.

Health Precautions

While cigar smoking is a pleasure, it’s essential to be aware of health considerations.

Smoking Responsibly

Unlike cigarettes, cigars aren’t meant to be inhaled. Savor the flavors in your mouth, and always smoke in moderation.

Recognizing Overindulgence Symptoms

Dizziness or a queasy feeling can be signs of nicotine overload. Recognize these symptoms and take a break if they occur.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Sharing

Sharing can be caring, but there are etiquettes to be followed.

Etiquette Among Friends

Never pressure someone to try a cigar, and always respect personal preferences. Cigar smoking is about relaxation, not competition.

Gifting Cigars

When gifting, consider the receiver’s experience level. A milder cigar is always a safe bet for beginners.

Recognizing and Rectifying Rookie Errors

No one is perfect, but recognizing common mistakes can prevent future mishaps.

Over-Smoking a Cigar

Smoking a cigar too quickly can result in a harsh taste. Slow down and savor the experience.

Choosing the Wrong Cutter

Using a poor-quality cutter can ruin your cigar. Invest in a quality guillotine cutter for a clean cut every time.

Enhancing the Cigar Smoking Experience

Going beyond the basics can further enrich your cigar journey.

The Role of Accessories

From ashtrays to cigar cases, the right accessories can add to the pleasure. For instance, a leather cigar case speaks of elegance and keeps your cigars safe on the go.

Picking the Right Environment

Choosing a comfortable spot, free from strong odors and with good ventilation, can make all the difference.

Rookie Mistakes to Avoid for cigar smokers

The world of cigar smoking is filled with nuances. By recognizing and rectifying these rookie mistakes, one can truly savor the essence of a good cigar. Remember, every cigar offers a unique story; it’s up to the smoker to unravel it.


How often should I refill my humidor? Typically, a humidor should be refilled every 2-4 weeks, but this can vary depending on its size, the number of cigars, and external conditions.

Why is my cigar burning unevenly? Uneven burning can be due to improper lighting, a faulty cut, or even the cigar’s construction. Rotating the cigar occasionally can help even out the burn.

Can I store different cigar brands in the same humidor? Yes, but be cautious as cigars can absorb flavors from each other. If you’re storing very distinct or flavored cigars, consider using dividers.

Do cigars expire? Cigars don’t expire per se, but if not stored correctly, they can dry out or become moldy, impacting the smoking experience.

What is the ideal time to smoke a cigar? While there’s no set time, many cigar enthusiasts prefer smoking in the evening, paired with a drink, as a way to relax.

Should I remove the cigar band while smoking? It’s a personal choice. Some prefer to remove it, while others leave it on. If you choose to take it off, wait until the cigar has warmed a bit to avoid tearing the wrapper.


Embarking on the cigar journey is a thrilling experience, filled with trials and errors. But by avoiding the rookie mistakes and armed with the right knowledge, you’re on your way to becoming a true cigar aficionado. Here’s to many more smoky sunsets and the stories that unravel with each puff.