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Cigar Etiquette

I know it's bad etiquette to stub cigars into an ashtray to put them out, but what is it that causes cigars to emit a foul odor when you do that?
Posted: November 4, 2013

Because you're opening up the cigar's filler tobacco, which has a buildup of oils.

As a cigar burns, the filler tobacco accumulates oils and tars. The moment a cigar is stubbed out, the wrapper is split, which releases a pungent odor from the exposed filler tobacco. This doesn't happen with cigarettes, which have to be stubbed out.

Premium cigars need puffing to maintain combustion, unlike cigarettes, which contain additives to keep them burning whether they are puffed or not. Premium cigars are made only with cigar tobacco, which is also richer and heavier than cigarette tobacco. The solution—and proper etiquette—is to simply rest your cigar in an ashtray and let it extinguish by itself when you are through with the smoke.

If a quick smother is what you're looking for, there are cigar-sized snuffers that extinguish a lit cigar within seconds by removing the surrounding oxygen supply at the cigar's foot. But we prefer the old-fashioned way.

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