How to Blow Smoke Rings

The term “blowing a smoke ring” is something of a misnomer and probably the reason many cigar smokers fail when attempting their creation.  Most people think they have to exhale to form a ring when, in fact, just the opposite is true.

But wait.  Let’s start with the basics and not get ahead of ourselves.

The first thing you need is a cigar that will produce dense smoke.  Why?  Smoke rings are delicate and if your cigar is producing light, ‘airy’ smoke, it will be difficult to get your ring to come together and stay together after it leaves your lips.

The second thing you need is a nice, calm environment.  Not for your nerves – for the smoke ring!  Moving air will disrupt the fragile cohesion, while still air will allow a smoke ring to grow to its full glory and linger for a while afterwards.

Okay, you’ve got the right cigar and the right room.  Now you need the right attitude:  practice makes perfect.  Let’s get ringing:

1. Draw a thick puff of smoke into your mouth and hold it there.  (It’s not necessary to puff out your cheeks like a chipmunk)

2. Place your tongue on the bottom of your mouth and pull it back slightly to block your throat passage

3. Open your mouth slowly (so you don’t create any unnecessary air flow that will disturb the smoke) and form it into the loose, rounded shape of the letter “O.”

4. Be sure to open your mouth and jaw, not just your lips.  You can’t make a good smoke ring by puckering up and making a kiss-face or fish-face.

5. Now, here’s the tricky part:  Curl the tip of your tongue down, and pull your tongue all the way back and push the smoke out of your mouth with your tongue.  Use your tongue in a gentle, piston type motion:  short bursts, with a slight recoil (think of the way a car piston works).

The biggest factor in blowing good smoke rings is practice.  But that’s half the fun!