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Cigar 101

How to Smoke a Cigar in a Car

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Smoking a cigar in the car is the ultimate way to unwind on a long drive. Your car also offers a convenient respite from extreme weather when it’s too cold, too hot, or too wet to smoke outside.

Is your ride a work car, a family SUV, or sport coupe for fun on the weekends? The protocols for smoking in the car can change depending on your circumstances. Because few of today’s cars are outfitted with a “smoker’s package” or an ashtray on board, you need to be prepared if you’re going to smoke while you drive. Fire up behind the wheel without giving it a second thought when you follow a few simple tips for smoking in the car.

Store a Torch Lighter & Cigar Cutter in the Glovebox

Toss a cigar torch and a cutter in the car, and leave it there. That way, you’re always prepared to smoke a cigar when someone unexpectedly hands you a good one for the ride home. Pick up an inexpensive lighter and cutter you can leave in your glovebox year-round.

Ashes, Ashes Will Blow All Around

An ashtray is a critical piece of equipment if you’re smoking a cigar in the car. Even if you’ve got an older-model car with a built-in ashtray, chances are good it’s not equipped with a proper cigar rest. Don’t think you can get away with an empty soda can or tapping your ash out the window. A lit cigar can roll onto your lap or under your seat. If you stick a lit cigar out the window to tap off the ash, you’re bound to get a blizzard of ashes blowing back into the car and into your face. If you haven’t got an ashtray, you’re asking for an accident.

The Xikar Ash Can is the ultimate accessory for smoking a cigar in the car. It fits in a standard cupholder. Inside, a fixed spring supports your cigar and makes it easy to knock the ashes off. And when you’re done smoking, simply fasten the lid to contain your ashes until you empty the can at your next stop.

How Long Is Your Drive?

Smoke a cigar that will last as long as your drive. If you’re taking a longer ride, you can light up a Chruchill or a Double Corona. If you’ve only got a thirty-minute jaunt, don’t smoke anything bigger than a Robusto. You don’t want to toss out half of an unsmoked cigar when you reach your destination. And you definitely don’t want to leave it in the car for hours until you’re on the road again, or your car will smell like a roaming ashtray.

Removing Smoke from Your Car

If you’ve got a sunroof, slide it open and leave the windows up while you’re smoking. The smoke will exit through the sunroof. It’s more convenient than fighting forceful airflow from the windows, which can suck ashes from the end of your cigar and blow embers into the backseat. If you haven’t got a sunroof, crack the windows just enough to move the air around. If you’ve got a two-door car, open the passenger window a little. If your car is four-doors, crack the back windows. Turn on the floor vents to your AC or heat to move the air around indirectly.

When you’re done smoking and you need to do a thorough cleanse before the Mrs. gets in again, air fresheners from Febreze or Yankee Candle will do more to mask the odor than eliminate it. Leather and upholstery cleaners from Armor All are effective at making your interior sparkle and wiping away any smoky film. You can also spray your heat and AC ducts with sanitizers from Lysol or Ozium. If you’ve been smoking in your car for a while, change the air filters. Some guys swear by air-purifying bags of activated charcoal and will toss one under the seat. If all else fails, get the car detailed by a professional.

When you’re buying a new car, get leather seats. Removing the smell of smoke from a cloth or fabric interior is challenging. Also, all-weather rubber floor mats are easy to pull out and hose down at the car wash and won’t retain the residual smell of smoke like carpet mats.

Don’t Throw Your Nub Out the Window

When you’re at the end of your cigar, don’t toss the nub out the window while you’re driving. The wind could pick it up and it could land in or on another vehicle. Slow down or pull over if you want to discard your nub out the window. Make sure it’s out before you speed off. If you live in an arid or desert climate, don’t throw it out the window under any circumstances. Hang onto your cigar until it’s out and you can safely discard it when you reach your destination.

Don’t Store Your Cigars in the Car

Once you’re comfortable smoking cigars in the car, know that you shouldn’t store them there. Major fluctuations in temperature take place in your car when it’s parked. A car is a volatile environment to store premium cigars, which will expand and contract as the temperature shifts. Travel humidors and humidor bags are great for transporting your cigars on a road trip, but don’t rely on them to keep your cigars fresh in your car indefinitely. Store your cigars in your home at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 70% humidity, and take what you need when you’re hitting the road.

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