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Stogie Tips: A Good Beginning

28 Aug 2008

Taking up cigars is exciting. So much to enjoy, so much to explore. But it can also be an intimidating time, what with all the new lingo, aficionados, and a seemingly endless range of options.

If you’re a new smoker, my first recommendation is to take a deep breath (before lighting up) and just relax. This is, after all, cigar smoking. Not rocket science, brain surgery, or even changing the oil in your car. About the worst thing that’s likely to happen is you’ll mess up a cigar or two, and while that might be a shame, it’s certainly not a crime.

From time to time, Stogie Guys will specifically address new cigar smokers. And, who knows, maybe a grizzled vet or two will stumble across something new as well. Here’s our first round of tips:

Get a Little Salty: You need to make sure your hygrometer is properly calibrated to monitor the humidity level where your cigars are stored. There’s really only one way: the salt calibration test. Everything you need to know to perform this simple, effective operation is here.

Light Right: Wonder if you’re clipping and lighting your cigar correctly? Let Doc Stogie entertain and enlighten you with his demonstration of the proper techniques at Stogie Fresh TV, and also read our tip on choosing the proper cutting tool.

Talk is Cheap: You probably have a great cigar resource nearby: the owner of your local B&M. The next time you stop by strike up a conversation. It’s a particularly good time now because you can ask what’s new from IPCPR. Describe what you like and ask for recommendations. A good owner can greatly increase your knowledge and enjoyment.

Caveat Smoker: Sooner of later, nearly every cigar smoker is presented with the “opportunity” to buy Cuban cigars. Warning: They are almost unquestionably counterfeits. Back in 2006, Patrick S. detailed how you can avoid getting stung.

Fancy or Plain: There’s nothing wrong with expensive lighters, high-priced cutters, and other upscale cigar accouterments. If you like them, go for it. But sometimes you can get Porsche performance at Hyundai prices. Read Patrick A.’s take on a terrific butane torch lighter for under $3.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Stogie Tips: “The secret word is …” - Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    […] another installment in our on-going efforts to pass along some tips and suggestions to those who are new to […]

  2. Stogie Tips: Begin At The End - Monday, March 2, 2009

    […] Passing along pointers to novice cigar smokers is one of our major goals at So, with that in mind, here are a few more tips to help you enjoy this beloved hobby even more. No stubbing! Absolutely, positively, do not put your premium cigar out as you would a cigarette. It will release a mass of foul odors and unpleasant smoke. Always — repeat, always — let the cigar die peacefully on its own. Remember, premium cigars are pure tobacco and, unlike cigarettes or most machine-made cigars, will not burn on their own. […]