Welcome to the world of cigars! If you're just starting out, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But don't worry, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through seven common mistakes that first-time cigar enthusiasts often make and how to avoid them. Let’s dive in and ensure your cigar journey starts off on the right foot.


1. Choosing the Wrong Cigar

When you’re new to cigars, the sheer variety can be intimidating. One of the biggest mistakes is selecting a cigar that’s too strong or complex for a beginner. Start with mild to medium-bodied cigars. These will be gentler on your palate and allow you to appreciate the flavors without overwhelming your senses. Look for brands that are known for their beginner-friendly options.


2. Ignoring Proper Storage

Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the quality of your cigars. Without the right environment, your cigars can dry out or become too moist, ruining the smoking experience.

Understanding Humidity

Cigars should be stored at a relative humidity of 65-70%. Too dry, and they’ll burn too hot and quickly; too moist, and they won’t burn properly and might develop mold.

Temperature Control

The ideal temperature for storing cigars is around 70°F (21°C). Temperature fluctuations can cause the tobacco to expand and contract, which can crack the wrapper and affect the flavor.


3. Improper Cutting Techniques

Cutting your cigar the wrong way can ruin the smoking experience. It’s essential to use the right tools and techniques.

Using the Right Tools

Invest in a good-quality cutter. Guillotine cutters, punch cutters, and V-cutters are popular options. Each provides a different smoking experience, so try a few to see which you prefer.

Cutting Too Much or Too Little

Cutting too much can cause the cigar to unravel, while cutting too little can result in a tight draw. Aim to cut just above the shoulder of the cigar to ensure a clean cut and a good draw.


4. Lighting Your Cigar Incorrectly

Lighting a cigar properly is an art. Many beginners make the mistake of using the wrong type of lighter or not taking their time to light the cigar evenly.

Avoiding Lighters with Fuel Additives

Butane lighters are ideal because they burn cleanly without affecting the flavor of your cigar. Avoid using regular gas station lighters as the additives can taint the taste.

Taking Your Time to Light Evenly

Hold the flame just below the foot of the cigar and rotate it to toast it evenly. This process can take a few minutes, but it ensures an even burn and a better smoking experience.


5. Inhaling the Smoke

Cigar smoking is different from cigarette smoking. One of the most common mistakes is inhaling the smoke.

Understanding Cigar Smoking Technique

Cigar smoke is meant to be savored in your mouth, not inhaled into your lungs. Take slow, deliberate puffs to enjoy the complex flavors.

The Difference Between Cigars and Cigarettes

Unlike cigarettes, cigars are not meant to be inhaled. Inhaling cigar smoke can lead to discomfort and detract from the experience.


6. Rushing the Experience

Cigar smoking is an experience to be enjoyed slowly. Rushing through a cigar can prevent you from fully appreciating its nuances.

Savoring the Flavor

Take your time to enjoy each puff. Let the flavors linger and develop. This isn’t a race; it’s about the journey.

Taking Breaks

It’s okay to put your cigar down for a few minutes. In fact, it’s often recommended to let it rest occasionally to prevent it from burning too hot.


7. Not Paying Attention to Ash

The ash of your cigar is more important than you might think. Proper ash management can enhance your smoking experience.

The Importance of Ash Length

A longer ash acts as an insulator, keeping the cigar cooler and allowing the flavors to develop better. Aim to let the ash grow about an inch before gently tapping it off.

Maintaining a Clean Burn

Keeping an eye on the ash can help you maintain an even burn, which is crucial for an enjoyable smoking experience.



Embarking on your cigar journey is exciting, and avoiding these common mistakes will set you up for success. Remember, the key to enjoying cigars is patience and attention to detail. Happy smoking!



How should I store my cigars?

Store your cigars in a humidor at 65-70% humidity and around 70°F to maintain their quality and flavor.

What’s the best way to cut a cigar?

Use a quality cutter and aim to cut just above the shoulder of the cigar for a clean cut and a good draw.

Why shouldn’t I inhale cigar smoke?

Cigar smoke is meant to be savored in your mouth, not inhaled into your lungs, to fully appreciate its complex flavors.

How can I tell if my cigar is properly lit?

A properly lit cigar will have an even burn around the foot with no unlit spots. Rotate it slowly while lighting to ensure an even burn.

What is the ideal length of cigar ash?

Allow the ash to grow about an inch before gently tapping it off to maintain an even burn and a cooler smoking experience.