Cigar Lounge Etiquette
As you start your cigar journey there is no doubt that you will visit a cigar lounge. In this article, we will cover some dos and don’ts that will get you off on the right foot. Finding a quality lounge or two in your area can enhance your enjoyment of cigars. A good lounge can be a source of answers when you have questions, product advice, and a community that shares your love of cigars.
While every lounge is different, some ideals hold true across the board. You never want to be the person who shows up and dampens the mood.
Support the lounge
First and foremost a lounge is a business - sales of cigars, accessories, and in some cases, liquor help keep the lights on. Even if you bring cigars, remember to buy a cigar or two during your visit. Some lounges will have rules where you must purchase or pay a cutting/lounge fee to sit and smoke your own cigars. Many lounges offer memberships. This is a great way to support your lounge and gain special perks (member-only lounges/seating, lockers, discounts, and special events).
Don’t Sniff or touch the Cigars Before You Buy
No one wants to buy a cigar after it has been fondled or run under your nose. You’d be surprised what you’ll see people do the further you go in your cigar journey. Simply sniffing a cigar as you hold it a few inches from your nose is probably not the worst thing in the world but running it along your nose is. We must be more aware of how we handle products like individual cigars many of which do not come in cellophane packaging.
Don’t be a moocher
Don’t be that person who always shows up empty-handed and asks their friends can they spare a cigar. Sure, there are those times when you are in a tough spot, but you do not want it to be a daily occurrence. We have all seen the scenes in a movie or tv show where someone opens their humidor or a box of cigars and offers someone a cigar and they grab a handful. Please do not do that, be respectful and take a single cigar.
Don’t ask to try someone’s cigar
It is generally a no-no to ask to try someone else’s cigar. Try asking them to give you their impression of the cigar if you are trying to decide if you should buy one.
Know your audience
Smoking cigars is an adult activity; however, certain topics of conversation can be offensive to those around you. Two topics that lounges generally like patrons to avoid are politics and religion, those are two that can cause spirited debate or arguments. People go to cigar lounges to relax not to possibly break up fights. So that everyone can have an enjoyable experience, be mindful of your language and choice of topics for conversations.
Always try to keep your general area clean, cigar ash can have a mind of its own at times and end up on chairs or your clothes. Use an ashtray - purposely dumping ash on the table or floor is not acceptable or respectful of other guests. When you are finished with your cigar do not smash your cigar into the ashtray like it is a cigarette, simply lay the cigar in the ashtray and it will go out on its own. Smashing a cigar into the ashtray can cause the cigar to give off a harsh aroma and make a mess in the ashtray. If you are enjoying drinks or food with your cigar, be mindful to clean up spills.
Be respectful when using other’s accessories
Most lounges will have accessories available for use in the lounge. When using these remember that other patrons will be using them after you. Do not lick or moisten your cigar and then use a cutter and when using a lighter/torch please remember that butane is not free. This is true when borrowing another patron or friend’s accessories. If your cigar needs to be relit more than once or twice grab some matches at the lounge. When borrowing accessories return them promptly. I have lost more than a few by people “accidentally” putting them in their pockets.
Don’t be a cigar snob
It is one thing to offer suggestions on cigars that someone may want to try and another to pass judgment on another’s choice of cigar. We all have our taste, preferences, and budgets when it comes to things that we enjoy in life. Cigars fall into that category, and someone shouldn’t be judged for smoking a cigar that they’ve paid for.
Be welcoming to newcomers
No matter how long we have been smoking cigars, we’ve all entered a new lounge before. Having a regular or two speak usually breaks the ice and leads to a more enjoyable experience for a newbie.
If you are unsure of lounge policies, it is always better to ask a staff member immediately so that you don’t run into any issues. If you are new to cigars and are having an issue cutting or lighting your cigar a more experienced patron or staff member is usually available to lend a helping hand. Staff members are your subject matter experts on cigars and accessories so do not be afraid to ask for recommendations before your purchase.
Cigar lounges are many things to different people, for some it is a place to relax, fellowship with friends, meet new people, or a combination of them all while enjoying a good cigar. Remembering these dos and don’ts will help you and other patrons enjoy their time at the lounge. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.