There are several things one should not do on this stage. It is no use in removing the excise band with the label, which all in all is a part of a perfect craftsmanship. Apart from aesthetic reasons, the label can be attached to the filler with a little bit of glue and putting it off can damage a delicate filler. If one really wants to put off the label, it is sufficient to wait until the warmth of the heated cigar melts the glue. And first of all the smoker should restrain from the reflex of licking the cigar, if there is any. This practice originates from the time, when there were no containers used to keep the cigars in humidity. Nowadays it is not only impractical, but also tasteless. CuttingCutting the head of the cigar, that is opening, cannot be done carelessly. It must be very precise, regarding the gentleness with which a “cap” was put onto the head. Good cutting of the cigar enables good puffing. The best cutting is the one before a line marked with the end of the “cap”. It opens 75%-85% of the cigar surface. It is best to open as much as you can, but without cutting the cap totally. Too big opening of the cigar will cause inhaling too much smoke, with excessive glow and bitter taste. The cigar will burn too fast and the time spent with it will be wasted. However, too small opening of the cigar has other unappetizing features. Puffing will be difficult, the amount of smoke insufficient and the taste spoiled by the concentration of tarry substances and nicotine. The ideal cutting is a little smaller than the cigar diameter. LightingA cut cigar is ready to be lit. In a well lit cigar the fire should not touch it. The way how the cigar is lit influences its taste and the way it will burn, so the first lighting is very important. Best lighters are supplied with butane with regard for its colourless and odourless fuel. Long matches for lighting cigars, made from cedar tree, are also a good solution. With a cigar in one hand and the lighter in the other, after lighting a match, one should wait until the sulphur will burn out and then he can start. The foot of the cigar should never be put into the flame. This forbidden action will turn tobacco into coal and the taste of burning will be present from the first until the last inhalation. One neither should begin with the cigar in his mouth because an accidental inhalation will pull the smell of the matches wood into the cigar. It is best to keep the hands about a quarter of inch from the flame, at 40 degrees angle. The cigar should be slowly rotated so that the filler starts smoulder and the circumference of the cigar foot is lightly and evenly heated. If the whole circumference is not heated like this, the cigar will not burn regularly.
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- The art of smoking