Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Don't be a Douchebag: Another age-old question

I was procrastinating the other day* and came across this question, posited by the grandmaster of cigar publications, Cigar Aficionado

When going to a cigar lounge or bar, should you purchase a cigar from the establishment, or is it OK to bring your own?

We've long-debated this question, feeling shifty about smoking our own but also faced with the dilemma: When you own several thousand cigars and suffer through New England winters (and springs, obviously, said the girl who would soon be stuck on a highway behind a copse of heavy-duty sanders for way too long), you must patronize cigar lounges to smoke more than three rapid-fire puffs. 
This happened last year. Sooo...thank heavens for cigar lounges!

May I quote my mom, a very wise woman? 

If you question whether something could technically be wrong, it probably is. In other words, if your conscious causes you a milli-moment of doubt, you shouldn't be doing it. Don't do it.

Look, you're welcome to smoke your own, especially if a particular cigar holds your fancy hostage, ruining you for any another. Outside is out of the question, as Mother Nature gets in her moods. Enter: the cigar lounge. Or you enter the cigar lounge. Whatever.

So, yes! Smoke your own. But! Also! Buy a damn cigar. Support the shop. 

Pick up something you've never tried before. Get an old favorite you're running low on. Donate a couple to Cigars for Warriors! Buy one and hand it to a friend.

Please please please don't do this.
You know that, karmically,
announcing what you did negates any good deed, right?
If, say, 50% of the people who went into that lounge only smoked their own and didn't make any purchases, how long will the shop stay in business? Although the precise answer would involve math,** we can say with conviction, "Not as long as you'd want it to be."

Some shops charge a "cutting fee" (usually around $10) if you bring a cigar and don't make a purchase. Don't bitch about this fee. Ever. We will fight you.

An aside: Cigar lounges, might we make a suggestion? Since you aren't LOSING any money when someone comes in with his or her own cigar and you feel obligated to charge the cutting fee, might we recommend donating this money (or a portion of it) to a charity or non-profit? It might make the charge a little less horrible in the patron's eye--although most everyone we know understands the reasoning behind it.

Another alternative: Take out a membership at your favorite lounge(s). You won't have to make a purchase each time you want to smoke, plus you'll get additional advantages, like discounts, members-only events, advance notice of sales, perhaps a humidified locker, and definitely some new, awesome friends. (As a matter of fact, I'm currently writing this in the members' room of one of our home-base lounges!)

For the entire Cigar Aficionado answer, go here.

*If you know me, then you know this could be any day of the week, any time of day.

**Math is dumb.


  1. I always purchase and smoke the purchase at the shop when I'm there. These are people I want not only to support: I want them as friends.

  2. good article Penny! it's just proper cigar lounge etiquette to either purchase a cigar or something equal to the cost of your own cigar. never less!


Looking for something special? Search the blog