We all love visiting our local cigar shop, whether you are new to cigar culture or a seasoned vet. Below are 10 Do’s and Don’ts to follow as you enjoy your time at the lounge.
#1 – The Do Not – Do Not bring your own cigars from home
This should just be a given. A cigar lounge is a place to retreat from your everyday life; the cold, the heat, and so many other things from the outside world. We go there for the comfy chairs and comradery, the air conditioning when it’s hot and humid out, or the heat when temperatures drop a little too low for our liking. But how do you think the shop owner pays for all those things? That’s right, the sales from the shop!!!
#1 -The Do – Always pay the shop first
I get it, we all have a budget and sometimes, online sales are better than your local brick and mortar cigar lounge, but all you get from the online store is that cigar, not everything else that comes with the amazing experience of a cigar lounge. So, if you MUST smoke that special cigar you brought from home, do so, but only after you buy a cigar from the shop.
#2 – The Do Not – Do not put your feet up on the furniture
Who doesn’t love kicking back literally with a drink and a cigar? I know I do. But seriously, the lounge should be a place to kick back but while keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground. Would you like to go into a shop that the furniture looks like it has been used an abused? Neither would I. And just think of how that furniture would have gotten do that point? Case closed.
#2 – The Do – Clean up after yourself
I’m not talking about emptying the ashtrays or wiping down the tables as the cigar lounge is most likely paying someone to do that. However, I am talking the basics, like throwing away your empty bottles, cans, and food that you had delivered or brought with you. The shop employee is not your mother so do not treat them like such unless you want them to discipline you just like your mother did.
#3 – The Do Not – Do not insert yourself into the conversation or force a conversation on others
Many of us may go to the lounge alone and of course talking to the guys is always a blast but inserting yourself into an existing conversation with other patrons uninvited is very simply put, rude. Also, that guy sitting there by himself reading or watching a TV show on his phone, might just need an escape from people and doesn’t want to talk, so let him or her be.
#3 – The Do – On the flipside of #3’s Do Not, DO invite others in if you are in a group and having a good time
I’ve first hand can say this has happened to me many times when I head to a new cigar lounge that I have never been to. I will listen and still mind my business but if I happen to laugh at a joke or agree with a comment, many times my opinion will be asked of me or I will be invited into the conversation in other ways. From there, you now are good to go and now have more brothers/sisters of the leaf in your circle.
#4 – The Do Not – Do not talk about politics or religion…. at all…..not even a little
No matter what your stance is on politics or your religious belief, there WILL be someone who feels the opposite of you. You know what we call that? Human nature. We are all different, all raised differently, and all believe in different things. So, discussion on many things that we are on opposite sides can lead to growth in knowledge, laughter, understanding, and just good ol’ conversation. However, in today’s world, politics and religion is beyond a touchy point and 99 out of 100 conversations in regard to those topics will lead to fights, disagreements, and become more about converting the other person’s thoughts and believes to your own. So again, simply put, just don’t.
#4 – The Do – Do listen and not just be the talker
This can go for every type of conversation. Don’t preach your point and then not listen. I could preach for days and days about how much I feel Tom Brady isn’t the greatest QB ever, but I must give you the chance to prove why you think he is, even though I promise you won’t sway me there. However, I digress.
#5 – The Do Not – Don’t show off or act like a know it all
We have all seen that guy who is showing off his Cuban cigar or his rare and special and limited-edition cigar that is harder to find than Bigfoot. Don’t be that guy. Be proud of what your smoking and if someone asks, “Hey, what are you smoking?”, feel free to show enthusiasm but do not put the cigar down that they are smoking or try to show your cigar is better than the one they are smoking. Also, do preach to others like you know everything about cigars, even if you are an expert.No one likes a know-it-all.
# 5 – The Do – Do talk about Cigars
It’s the perfect spot to do so! Ask about the cigars being smoked around you because who knows, one of them may be smoking a cigar you were interested in trying and you can get some feedback first hand. Also, this is a great opportunity to bring yourself into a conversation or invite others into the conversation as mentioned above. And finally, if you hear a guy talking about cigars that seems like he knows his stuff and you want to know more, ask him! This is a great way to learn about cigars and again, brings another brother or sister of the leaf into your circle.
#6 – The Do Not – Do not smash your cigar out!
This one is simple but really is beneficial. If you smash out a cigar, it will release a very unpleasant odor and sticks around a lot longer than the lovely cigar aroma that we enjoy.
#6 – The Do – Just leave it be
Done with the cigar? Hope it was great!! Now, just leave it sitting on the ashtray if you are leaving. If you are sticking around longer, just flick it into the ashtray and you are good to go. It will go out on its own and be disposed of the next time your cigar lounge employee makes his or her rounds.
#7 – The Do Not – Don’t mooch off the drinks of others
Many cigar lounges are BYOB which is just fantastic. However, nearly every cigar lounge has that one guy that always forgets to bring his booze along. But he will for sure sniff out yours and ask for some and rarely every repay the favor. Don’t be that guy.
#7 – The Do – Do offer drinks to those around you
Many times, while I have been in the cigar lounge, I have been offered a drink since I was in the immediate area. It’s a great gesture and sometimes I will accept,other times not, but the offer is always appreciated. Again, it gives you a chance to connect with others while you are enjoying your cigar and time at the lounge. And trust me, that super old bottle of Blantons that you brought in, I will not expect any of that.
#8 – The Do Not – Do not lick your cigar and then use the house cutter
Really, just think about that for a second. It does not need any further explanation and seems self-explanatory but I promise you will see it many times.
#8 – The Do – Offer your equipment to others
Forgot your lighter? No problem, the lounge will help you out. However, sometimes its busy in the lounge and soon enough, that lighter runs out of fluid. So instead of watching someone wait for the cigar lounge employee to refill it as he or she is trying to take care of customers, offer yours up. Not only will that person appreciate the gesture, I can promise the cigar lounge employee will remember that as well. Now, of course, keep that cutter close if you think the person might be an offender of the #8 Do Not category!
#9 – The Do Not – Do not be oblivious to those around you
Yes, you went to the cigar shop alone and maybe you want to be alone and just do your thing. There is nothing wrong with that. However, you still are not the only one there. Be mindful of others around you. Biggest part of that, do not talk on your phone if possible, especially if it’s quiet in the lounge. Shoot a text instead or step outside momentarily, we will hold your chair for you.
#9 – The Do – Do be mindful to those around you
We love cigars, we love the smell, and guess what, that smell comes from the smoke. However, we blow the smoke away from us in most cases. So if you are sitting next to someone, do not blow the smoke towards them and if possible, hold the cigar in a spot that the smoke coming from the cigar does not go directly into the face of the person next to you. Also, be mindful of your stuff that is on the table and make sure those around you have room to place their drinks or items.
#10 – The Do Not – Do not bring negativity to the cigar shop
I am the first to admit that one of the first places I want to go when I have had a bad day is the cigar shop. But once I step through those doors, I let all that negativity go and I sit down knowing things are already better just by being there. Don’t bring your bad day and push it onto others. Negativity travels, leave it at the door.
#10 – The Do – Most important rule of cigar lounge etiquette – Enjoy Yourself
Take a moment to just breath, relax, unwind, and light up. The time in the cigar lounge is time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, so enjoy it!
I was introduced to cigars and had my first stick in 2015. Since then, I have gone headfirst into the amazing world of cigar culture. Living in Texas has its perks as cigar lounges and limited cold weather allows for an amazing cigar experience. Some of my favorite brands are CAO, Camacho, Davidoff, Southern Draw, and anything done by AJ Fernandez.