How to Smoke a Cigarillo

by Keith Evans
Cigarillos are easier to smoke than a standard cigar.

Cigarillos are easier to smoke than a standard cigar.

Cigarillos, a Spanish word for "little cigar," are tobacco cigars wrapped in a tobacco leaf or skin that are considerably smaller than a standard cigar. Because of their small stature (some cigarillos may be about the size of a cigarette, or even smaller) these tobacco products are held and enjoyed in a slightly different manner than their larger brethren. Many people consider them easier to smoke than a standard cigar, as the tip is already removed and the smaller size allows them to be enjoyed on the go without the long time frame of a larger cigar.

Remove your cigarillo from the pack. Unlike larger cigars, cigarillos often come in packs of six, 12 or 15. Simply open the pack, select a cigarillo to smoke, and close the pack, saving the rest for later.

Place the cigarillo tip in your mouth and light the end. On most cigarillos, one end tapers slightly; this end is the side which is placed between the lips for smoking. The other side, which is not tapered, is the side to which the flame of a lighter or match will be applied to ignite the tobacco. To light the cigarillo, either strike the match or turn the flint wheel on the lighter to create a small flame. While holding the flame at the end of the cigarillo, breathe inward through the cigarillo's tobacco to light. Please note that not all cigarillos feature a tapered end; if neither tip of the cigarillo is tapered, it may be lit from either end.

Hold the cigarillo with your thumb and forefinger, supported by your middle finger. Although you may hold and move the cigarillo in any manner that is comfortable for you and does not bring the lit end near clothing or skin, this classic method, which is similar to the holding of a cigarette, is considered proper for enjoying a cigarillo.

Breathe in to enjoy the taste, but do not inhale. To bring the taste of the cigarillo into your mouth, simply suck air into your mouth through the cigarillo, almost as if it were a drinking straw. The incoming air will pass through the flame on the end of the cigarillo, and the heated air will bring the taste of the burning tobacco into your mouth. Enjoy the taste while moving the cigarillo away from your lips, then exhale through your mouth to release the smoke. Repeat this process until the cigarillo is mostly burned away. Remember that cigarillos, like cigars, produce full, heavy smoke which should not be inhaled into the lungs; cigarette smokers, who often do inhale their smoke, may find smoking a cigarillo difficult for this reason.

Extinguish the cigarillo by tamping it out in a designated ashtray. When the cigarillo reaches a short enough length that heat from the burning tip can be felt in your fingers, it has been depleted. After taking one last puff, press the lit tip firmly into an ash tray, taking care to ensure that the pressure extinguishes any burning tobacco. If no ashtray is available, the "butt" may be deposited into a container of non-flammable liquid to ensure that it is extinguished, though the liquid should be disposed of properly and promptly. If no other alternative is available, the cigarillo may be stamped out on the ground by stepping on it. Although cigarillos are composed entirely of tobacco and thus are biodegradable, any remaining portions should be thrown away (not left on the ground) after being thoroughly extinguished.

Tips

  • Many nonsmokers consider the aroma of a cigarillo harsh and offensive, so only smoke cigarillos in approved smoking areas or when alone.
  • Cigarillos are available in a variety of strengths and flavors; you may wish to experiment with different flavors to find one you enjoy.
  • Whenever possible, dispose of depleted cigarillos in a designated ashtray to reduce the risk of fire. Never litter by leaving your used cigarillo on the ground.

Warnings

  • Never smoke a cigarillo in bed, or close to flammable products, as the lit end of the cigarillo may pose a fire hazard.
  • Never smoke in designated nonsmoking areas, as this action is considered rude and may be illegal in some jurisdictions.
  • Some states, like California, prohibit smoking of any materials in the presence of children.
  • The United States Surgeon General has determined that tobacco smoke may cause peripheral vascular disease, mouth cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, emphysema, blindness, heart disease and increased risk of stroke.
  • Like other tobacco products, cigarillos should not be used by persons younger than 18 years of age.

Items you will need

  • Cigarillo
  • Cigar or cigarette lighter

About the Author

Keith Evans has been writing professionally since 1994 and now works from his office outside of Orlando. He has written for various print and online publications and wrote the book, "Appearances: The Art of Class." Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication from Rollins College and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration in strategic leadership from Andrew Jackson University.

Photo Credits

  • cigarillo image by Pascal Péchard from Fotolia.com