Maduros Lounge Etiquette
Number one, outside sticks. In the modern world, we have thousands of cigar buying options between brick and mortar stores and online retailers. Many brick and mortar stores have lounges dedicated to the relaxation of their customers. The owners and managers of these stores spend thousands of dollars making sure we have comfortable seating, good ventilation and an all around relaxing atmosphere. While many of them do not mind you bringing in a cigar you purchased somewhere else to smoke (preferably if you’re still buying sticks from them), it is frowned upon considerably for you to talk up your outside smoke while down talking the ones carried in the shop. It only makes sense – they want their customers to buy their merchandise, it’s how they stay in business and put food on the table for their families. Think of how you would feel if someone were to come into your business that you’d spent your life and your life savings building and told everyone how great someone else’s merchandise was. Online retailers almost always offer lower prices, but they also don’t have the overhead of a traditional store (including local taxes and licensing fees), more important, they don’t give you the friendly face-to-face service and knowledge of a real tobacconist. Also, if you’re in the United States, don’t take a Cuban cigar into a shop and risk their livelihood because you want to smoke an illegal cigar. Save that for your house or family gathering.
Number two, clean up after yourself. We all drop ashes, it’s just a part of smoking cigars. If you drop your ash, clean it up. Would you like to sit in a chair covered in ash? I’m guessing not. Take two seconds to put your cellophane wrapper in the garbage can and, if you don’t save the bands, do the same with your banding. The more we clean up after our smoking, the more willing people will be to keep their lounges open to us. To keep it simple, treat the lounge as you would your smoke area at home.
Number three, conversations. One of the great things about the cigar lifestyle is the ever-growing family of BOTLs and SOTLs (Brothers/Sisters Of The Leaf). We love being social with one another, talking everything from cigars to politics to religion to sports and beyond. However, many people don’t want to hear the latest joke about the prostitute and the clergyman or Little Johnny and his potty mouth. This isn’t to say you can’t tell these jokes, but keep them quiet and within your own little group that likes to hear them. Many of us take our wives/girlfriends into the lounge with us and would prefer they not be subjected to these stories/jokes. The cigar world has changed, and it’s not just a boys club anymore. You should always be mindful of the other people in the room and show them the respect you would like to be shown. It just makes for a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
Number four, know-it-alls. This is a touchy subject, because many people (myself occasionally included) don’t realize they’re even doing it. The easiest way I’ve found to curtail myself from this habit is to simply not answer unless asked. If you see someone not toasting before they light, don’t point it out to them. They may like their smoke to burn uneven, or maybe it’s the way their grandpa taught them to smoke. Some people will ask you for tips, and it’s perfectly fine to give them advice – as long as they’ve asked for it or if there is a round-table type discussion going on. In the event of a group conversation, give your input, but be willing to yield the floor to the next person with a tip. You may just learn something you didn’t already know.
Number five, begging. Many shops offer special promotions, but they’d never stay in business if they just gave away cigars. A friend of mine who owns a shop that specializes in fine boutique cigars which often range in price from $10-$45/stick told me once that he gets at least 20 people per day asking for free cigars. Can you imagine what would happen to his profit margin if he gave that many cigars away? Get to be known in a shop and I’m sure a free stick will drop in your lap from time to time. No matter how friendly the owners/employees at the shop are, they are there to make money and feed their families. They can’t do this by giving away their only source of income. Thanks “Big Easy Smoke” – http://mafialifeblog.com/five-tips-for-a-pleasant-cigar-lounge-experience/