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Cigar 101

Why Do Some Cigars Create a Lot of Smoke?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Does it look like somebody flipped on the switch for a fog machine when you’re smoking? Some cigars naturally produce a lot more smoke than others. Too much smoke can also indicate common cigar problems like coning or canoeing. Find out why your cigar is behaving like a locomotive chimney.   

Puffing Too Often, Too Aggressively

If you’ve ever had the problem where you simply can’t put your cigar down because it’s so darn good, practice some patience. If you puff too often or too aggressively, your cigar will overheat. An abundance of smoke will pour into the room while you’re smoking, but eventually the flavor will turn bitter when your cigar gets too hot.

Ashing Too Soon

Leaving the ash form on the end of a cigar until it haphazardly lands on the sofa is an endless source of amusement for many cigar lovers. A long ash is more than a novel experiment to see how still and steady you can hold your cigar while you’re smoking, though.

The ash serves an important purpose because it insulates the foot of your cigar from receiving too much oxygen when you draw on it. Regulating the oxygen results in a cooler, more enjoyable draw. That’s why you should gently tap the ash off and not forcibly try to shake or knock it off in its entirety. Allowing the ash to continue to develop prevents your cigar from, once again, burning too hot and producing excess smoke.

Big Ring Gauge

Big ring gauge cigars naturally produce a lot of smoke because they’re thicker. You can restrict the smoke a big ring gauge cigar gives off by giving it a smaller cut, with a punch cutter for example. Although big ring cigars produce more smoke, they burn cooler than thinner cigars because the heat is dispersed over a greater amount of surface on the foot of the cigar while it burns. Fans of big ring cigars generally prefer a cooler draw with more smoke production.

A Deep Cut  

How you cut your cigar affects the draw. A bigger, deeper cut creates a looser, less-restrictive draw which produces more smoke when you puff on your cigar. If you’re not sure whether you like a bigger draw with more smoke, start with a smaller cut first. You can always cut a little more off until your cigar produces the right amount of smoke.

Cigar Is Under-filled or Rolled Too Loosely

If a cigar is under-filled, meaning not enough tobacco was used in its construction, or it was rolled too loosely, it can produce too much smoke. Excess oxygen infiltrates the burn on a cigar that is under-filled. If you’ve got an under-filled cigar, return it. Most premium brands employ quality-control measures to prevent inconsistencies in rolling, but it can happen.

Uneven Burn

When a cigar’s binder, filler, or wrapper burn out of sync with one another, the foot of the cigar can begin to smolder like fireplace embers – and unleash random trails of smoke into the air. Touch up your cigar with your lighter if part of your cigar isn’t combusting at the same pace.

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