The folks at Tobacco Express in Claymont, Delaware reached out to me and asked me to post this tobacco shop etiquette guide. I don’t generally do guest posts, but I recently read a similar piece by my friend Matthias of FineTobaccoNYC.com and this seemed like it was a good way to spark some discussion. I’m not 100 percent on board with the “Dress the part” part, I’m a jeans (or shorts) and t-shirt kinda guy, but there are some good points. It’s also important to point out that the sponsor if this post has a shop in Delaware, where indoor smoking is very rare, many cigar shops don’t allow smoking.
Tobacco Shop Etiquette
Entering any tobacconist can be deemed a sacred experience, whether you’re a hobbyist or a first time smoker. Like dining in a fine restaurant or walking through a museum, there’s a code of etiquette to follow when you’re in a tobacco shop.
• Respect the regulars. If you’re a new customer, exhibit patience when you enter a tobacco shop. Most often, some of the shop’s regulars will be present when you decide to go. Because these frequent customers bring in a lot of consistent business, the tobacco shop’s staff will most likely be catering to their needs to keep them coming back. Rest assured that you will be given the attention you deserve – it may just take a minute.
• Dress the part. You don’t have to walk into the tobacco shop in a suit and tie, but you shouldn’t be in swim trunks or sweatpants, either. Think casual Fridays at work – wear jeans and a blazer or button down to fit in to the crowd.
• Get to know the tobacconist. Like having a good tailor or a go-to barber, the in-house tobacconist will serve as your lifeline in the world of tobacco and tobacco products. Forming a relationship can help you stay in the know when new products come in, when special events are being held around the store, or small perks like free lighters or cigar cutters.
• Act calmly. Enter the shop quietly and be mindful of other customers around you. They’re at the shop to relax and enjoy their time, so avoid a bustling, booming entrance. Always make sure that the doors close behind you when you’re moving throughout the shop. Temperature and humidity are of paramount importance in the tobacco industry, particularly in the humidor. Be mindful of this area and make sure the door shuts tightly behind you.
• Introduce yourself and make friends. Like the tobacconist, the shop’s regular customers can make product recommendations, show you tips and tricks that they’ve picked up throughout the years, trade tobacco products or accessories, and be a source of friendship and camaraderie in the shop.
• Don’t light up without the shopkeeper’s consent. While it may seem arbitrary, it’s proper to ask before lighting up your tobacco product in store. Other things you shouldn’t do in a tobacco shop include: light up in the humidor, bring your own selection of tobacco products, or haggle prices.
Familiarize yourself with this code of conduct and you’ll be welcomed into a tobacco shop anywhere, any time.
These tobacco etiquette tips brought to you by Tobacco Express, a tobacco shop in Claymont, DE.
Thanks to the folks at Tobacco Express for sharing this. I’ll try to get down to Claymont to visit one of these days, it’s not too far away! One more thing: the Philly Cigar Festival will be happening this Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 in Pottstown, PA. I’m not sure I’m going to make it, but I’m told there may still be some tickets left. You may recall that this was scheduled for last spring then postponed, and I hope the winners of the contests I had earlier in t the year can make it.
That’s all for now, Until the next time,