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Cigars 101 - How to Select, Cut, Light, Smoke and Enjoy Hand Rolled Cigars

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How to Select the Right Cigars
Do Not Buy Cracked or Discolored Cigars

Inspect Cigar Wrapper for Cracks & Discolorations Before Buying

2006 © Gary Manelski Licensed to About.com, Inc.
If you're ready to join the ranks of cigar smokers, here is how to get started. The first step is selecting the right cigars to "practice" with. You should start by choosing several different single cigars at your local tobacconist. Do not buy a box of cigars until you have sampled a few singles, first. Don't be afraid to ask the owner or manager for advice.

Choose Mild Cigars

Mild cigars are recommended for beginners, since the more full-flavored cigars would most likely taste too strong (or just plain bad) to a new smoker. Mild cigars are also the least expensive, so you won't have to worry about ruining an expensive cigar by lighting it incorrectly, or by cutting too much off the closed end.

Inspect the Cigar

Once you have determined which type of cigar(s) to purchase, then gently squeeze the cigar to determine if there are any hard or soft spots. You don't want to take a chance on buying a cigar with a bad draw, or worse yet, one that is plugged and not smokeable. Tip: Reputable tobacconists will usually replace a plugged cigar. Also, inspect the wrapper for cracks or discolorations.

Protect & Smoke

If you do not yet own a humidor, do not buy more cigars than you can smoke within a couple of days, and make sure to leave them in their cellophane packaging (if applicable) until you're ready to smoke. Never leave an unprotected cigar exposed to the elements, as it will quickly dry out. You can temporarily store cigars in a Tupperware or similar container.
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