Over the course of five blog posts, I share my advice on how to become a cigar smoker in 5 easy steps. Step One discusses buying your first cigar. Step Two describes the various types of cigar cutters and how to cut a cigar. Step Three educates readers on how to light a cigar. Step Four discusses how to buy, prepare, and maintain a humidor.
Step 5: Join the Cigar Community
The best part of cigar smoking is becoming part of the Cigar Community. Unlike the cigarette community that consists of standing at the smoking area at the back of your office in a dreary alley, cigar smoking is a true community of lovers of the leaf. This last post in the series details how to join our close knit community.
Hang Out at Your Local Cigar Lounge
Since you started your new cigar smoking hobby, you have likely smoked your cigars in your backyard under the watchful eye of your spouse or significant other. You may even have been educated on when not to smoke a cigar, e.g., at a gathering of your friends who do not smoke cigars. It is time to head to your local cigar lounge and experience the camaraderie of the hobby. Do a quick search of The Google and locate your nearest cigar shop or cigar lounge. You can also do a search at Where to Smoke, a gift from Cigar Aficionado Magazine. Pick a place and head over. Buy a cigar from your local tobacconist, head to the lounge, and light up. Introduce yourself to the other cigar smokers sitting in the lounge. You’ll quickly figure out why I sent you there.
Share Your Damn Cigars!
Cigars ain’t cheap and neither are cigar smokers. However, cigar smokers share our cigars. Even our $10 cigars. When you open that new box of cigars you just bought from your local tobacconist in their lounge, share a stick with the herfers around you. Its what we do. Or, you can be dick. Don’t be a dick. Nobody likes a dick.
Subscribe to a Cigar Magazine
There are a handful of magazines dedicated to the cigar lifestyle and you should get a subscription to at least one of them. Most of us start with a subscription to Cigar Aficionado magazine. They are the 1,000-pound gorilla of cigar magazines.The one big negative of Cigar Aficionado is that at least half of the magazine is focused on topics other than cigars. There is nothing wrong with this unless you are looking for a magazine focused solely on cigars. I’m pretty tired of reading about various golfing locations but I guess other readers are not. Cigar Snob and Smoke Magazine are also great magazines focused on our hobby.
My favorite and the geekiest of the cigar magazines is Cigar Journal. Every page is dedicated to the cigar hobby. I spend hours reading each issue of this magazine whereas I spend about 20 minutes reading Cigar Aficionado magazine.
Subscribe to Cigar Websites
A great way to learn more about the cigar hobby is to subscribe to various cigar-related websites. First, sign up for Cigar Intel! We need more subscribers! Look right up on the right of your screen. Enter your email address, click subscribe, and magically, you will get an email each time we release a new post! Next, sign up at sites such as Cigar Dojo, Stogie Guys, and HalfWheel. Finally, sign up for information from the major cigar online retailers such as Cigars International, Famous Smoke Shop, and JR Cigars. I suggest you also sign up at CigarPage as they have great deals every day and also Best Cigar Prices.
Listen to a Cigar Podcast
There are a handful of cigar podcasts out there including The Cigar Authority, Smooth Draws, Cigar Federation, and Cigar Dave. My personal favorite is The Cigar Authority and the others are great as well. Do a search on The Google for “cigar podcast” and you’ll find tons of podcasts. Listen to a few episodes from each and you’ll hone in on the ones you like the best.
Attend a Cigar Event
There are generally two types of cigar events: a local event sponsored by your local cigar shop where a cigar manufacturer stops in for the night to pawn their latest cigar releases. Often, there is a presentation, special deals, and a great chance to learn about new releases. The second type of cigar event is a national or regional event that brings together many cigar manufacturers, good food and drink, entertainment, etc. There are many national and regional events each year in the U.S. You can find a list of events in the U.S. by checking out our continually updated post listing major Cigar Events in the U.S.
The most well know national cigar event is Big Smoke Las Vegas, sponsored by Cigar Aficionado Magazine. Smokey and I have attended this event a number of times and it is worth every penny. Big Smoke Las Vegas takes place each November in Sin City.
Another national event and our favorite is CIGARfest sponsored by Cigars International. CIGARfest takes place each April in the Poconos, yep the Poconos. You can take a bath in a champagne glass and also attend a cigar event. Do me a favor though and don’t take my advice about attending CIGARfest as the damn thing sells out in seconds each year.
Join the Cigar Rights of America
Every day, some politician or regulatory agency at the Federal, state, and local level is trying to legislate or regulate cigars into oblivion. The Cigar Rights of America (CRA) “is the first and only consumer-based public advocacy group fighting to protect the individual rights to enjoy premium cigars. Over the past twenty years, the anti-tobacco movement’s reach has broadened, and your ability to enjoy premium cigars and freely participate in a relaxing, social activity has been continually regulated and restricted.” If you care about your right to smoke cigars, you must sign up for a CRA membership. Your membership fee funds the CRA’s efforts to stop political wankers from infringing on your rights.
Well new cigar smokers, this is the end of our series. If I’ve done my job (OK, actually my hobby.), you have the tools needed to join the Cigar Community and not look like an idiot while you do it. If you get a chance, let me know what you think of the series by posting a comment below. Also, please give my bro and co-runner of this site, Smokey Butts, sh$& for not writing one of the posts in this series! Why? Because that’s what brothers do. Happy herfing!