Recently I had a moment that I need to confess. I read Cigars for Idiots. Yup, I went there. Here you thought I was a seasoned cigar aficionado only to have your conceptions dashed upon the rocks. Well take heart, all that means is you are not that far behind me in learning about cigars! I think its better that way. I always felt like (insert anything here) aficionados had an air of arrogance about them anyway.
Now I would like to share a few things that I learned from my studies, to save you time and increase your enjoyment of the next smoke.
First, clipping a cigar. Never clip off the whole end of the cigar. Just clip enough off that you can get a good draw, making sure you leave a portion of the rounded cap.
Lighting a cigar. It may take two or three or more matches. The key word there is matches. Either invest in a fancy lighter or buy wood matches. A BIC lighter will give an odd flavor to the cigar. When you do light it up, make sure you get an even flame on the end of the cigar. Once it is lit properly, give it a rest. Allow it to sit for about 30 seconds and you will get a better, more even burn on the cigar. Resting it allows the fire to become even before you draw oxygen through the cigar, potentially causing some areas to burn in further than others, leading to a strange burn.
Now, when you smoke the cigar, sip it like a good glass of wine. That will give you the best smoke, preventing the end from getting to soggy. Unless you want to look like a big shot with a cigar sticking out of his or her mouth... if so go for it. I'm just letting you know the best way, not the only way.
While smoking, don't keep puffing on the thing. Take a good draw, let the smoke swirl in your mouth before blowing out. Then wait a little while before taking another hit. Cigars are not like cigarettes. They won't burn themselves down quickly. You still need to take a few puffs from time to time or the cigar may burn out, but don't over do it. You'll end up loosing some valuable relaxing time and may be snickered at after you leave the cigar lounge.
Enough for now, enjoy your next cigar!