The 7 Rules of Cigar Lounge Etiquette

Obey these essential laws whenever you step inside a cigar lounge.


Presented by Gurkha 

Cigar lounges are hallowed domains where smokers can relax, savor fine stogies and luxuriate in a treasured pastime. But there is a certain decorum that must be followed in order for everyone to enjoy their experience to the fullest.

To that end, we consulted David J. Figueroa, founder of Cigar Social Club, on the most essential rules to follow anytime you step inside a cigar lounge. 

Read on for his top tips for maintaining proper cigar lounge etiquette:

Do not smell or lick a cigar

“Don’t be that guy walking around a shop smelling cigars that another customer may purchase. No one wants to buy a cigar that’s been licked or even wrapped around someone else’s nose.”

Never blow smoke in someone’s face

“Keep in mind that there are others around you while smoking. Although it’s normal to be around smoke at a cigar shop, it is not OK to be consistently blowing smoke in the direction of a fellow smoker.”

Do not smash out your cigar in an ashtray


“A cigar will diffuse on its own. Respect the cigar and do not diffuse it by smashing it on an ashtray. This is not proper cigar lounge etiquette.”

Do not let cigar ash spill over

“Unless you are participating in a long ash contest at your local cigar shop, you should always respect your cigar lounge and be cautious of spilling ash on the floor or furniture. Always ash accordingly on your shop’s provided ashtrays.”

Never take your own cigars to a cigar lounge

“The cigar community wins when we support brick-and-mortar shops. If you are going to visit a cigar lounge and use their facility to smoke, be sure to purchase a cigar. Keep in mind that some shops may offer a cutting fee for those who wish to smoke their own cigar. If this is indeed the case, it is still advised to buy at least one cigar.”

Always cut and light a cigar properly

Kaizad Hansotia, founder and owner of Gurkha cigars, shows how it’s done. 

“A bad cut may damage a cigar and cause it to burn unevenly. It is important to always cut a cigar on the end cap that closes the cigar. Cutting in too deep will damage a cigar. The three most common cigar cuts are the straight cut, punch cut, and v-cut.”  

“Lighting a cigar is just as important as the cut. It is important we begin our cigar experience the correct way in order to avoid issues such as uneven burn.” 

“To properly light a cigar you will need a lighter (odorless gas only such as butane), matches or cedar spill. Never light a cigar with a candle as the aroma particles may ruin it.” 

“Now it’s time to light. The first step is to toast the foot of your cigar while you rotate the cigar evenly. The purpose of toasting is to ignite the outer layers of the tobacco that hold the cigar together.” 

“Ignite the filler by placing the cigar in your mouth and rotating it as you light and draw. Always make sure that the flame isn’t too close to the cigar. Relax and enjoy your smoke.” 

Don’t be the “I only smoke Cubans” guy


“Cigars, like wine, have come a long way and are not exclusive to a particular region of the world. While Cuba is historically known to produce fine cigars, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic have flourished and are renowned for producing some of the world’s best tobacco.”

“For example Olivia Melanio Figurado, Gurkha Cellar Reserve 15 years, the Gurkha Marquesa, Sindicato Natural Corona Gorda, and LFD Andalusian Bull have recently received accolades as some of the world’s best-rated cigars. Our community is diverse, and so are our cigars.”

For more cigar tips, follow Gurkha Cigars and Cigar Social Club on Instagram