The Beginner’s Guide to Smoking Etiquette 101
Post by Erinn Holman on August 27, 2019Erinn Holman
There are few things that can ruin a chill smoke sesh quicker than an inconsiderate smoker. Whether they hog the supply, blow smoke at the rest of you, or pocket your lighter at the end, it’s likely you won’t want to smoke with them again. Smoking with friends should be a fun and peaceful experience, so be sure you’re not the one breaking a sacred smoking rule. Take a minute to brush up with this smoker etiquette guide so you can puff as politely as possible.
Rule #1- Don’t peer pressure others into smoking
Undoubtedly the most important rule is to not peer pressure anyone… ever. Not only is it impolite, it’s incredibly immature to tease someone else into smoking. Be sure that everyone in your group knows they can join in, but don’t assume everyone will want to, at least not every time you spark up. If someone opts out, don’t try changing their mind, and don’t grill them on why. Mind your own business.
Rule #2- Pass it to the left
The oldest rule in the smoker’s handbook: remember left is law. This tradition comes from the Rastafarians who would traditionally pass their smoke left in times of peace and right in times of war. While the backstory is not as well known, the rule certainly is and passing it to the right will out you as an amateur smoker. The first to light up should always pass clockwise. If you’re rolling with paper, certain kinds like these pre-rolled cones from RAW have a special crisscross watermark to prevent runs and maintain a smooth burn as it’s passed around your circle.
Rule #3- Bring your own stash
If you plan on smoking at some point during the night, never show up empty-handed. Whether it’s just you and a buddy or a bigger circle, be sure you can contribute, especially if it was your idea to smoke. If you’re going to be traveling with your stash, make sure to be discreet. Stealthy storage gadgets like this Skunker Pen Pre Roll Stash let you hide your goods in plain sight. If you’re looking to bring more than just a pre-roll or two, try these storage options, which will keep the smell contained and your precious smokables safe. If you’re worried about windy or rainy weather, you’ll want storage and a clipper lighter that can withstand the outdoors.
Rule #4- Don’t be a hog
Follow the age-old rule: puff, puff, pass. A third or fourth hit might be no big deal if you’re smoking with close friends, but definitely keep it moving after that. Beware, If you pull this stunt too often you might get accused of bogarting the goods – a term referring to actor Humphrey Bogart who was rarely seen without a cigarette dangling from his lips in his most famous movies.
You might encounter friendly smokers who offer to smoke you out for free. It’s still polite to offer them a few dollars or to throw in from your own smoke stash if you’re able to. If not, just say thank you and try to return the favor to them when you have the chance.
Rule #5- Whoever rolled it, lights it
Once again, you want to respect the circle and your fellow smokers and that respect includes who claims the first hit. This almost always means whoever rolled it should be the first to spark up. There can be exceptions (see rule #6), but otherwise, the roller should be rewarded with first dibs. After all, they provided the goods, so it’s only fair to let them enjoy the first puff.
Rule #6- Guests get first dibs
While the norm is to respect the “whoever rolls it, lights it” rule, the one exception is the widely accepted courtesy of allowing a guest to kick things off. Much like you would offer guests a beverage, it’s expected that you offer them the first hit. This rule only applies to a newbie to the smoke circle, the first time a pipe is passed. After you’ve extended this courtesy once, you’re off the hook and normal rules apply. If you packed the bowl, then pass the glass to the guest, especially if it’s as cool as this Ellie The Elephant pipe. POP QUIZ: If you rolled up, you’ll hand it to the guest first to begin passing it which direction? You guessed it, Beyonce, it’s to the left.
Rule #7- Don’t be a lighter thief
Keep track of who provided a light, and make sure they get it back at the end. Lost lighters seem like an infinite struggle, so don’t fall victim. When bringing your own lighter, consider looking for one that shows your personal style, like these Clippers with popular sayings. Clipper lighters work well outdoors because their flame automatically adjusts for wind resistance. Clipper lighters are many times the go-to lighter that many smokers prefer due to their refillability, design variety, and included poker and scraper features. Plus, if you carry a lighter that you like, you’ll be more likely to remember to take it home with you post sesh.
Rule #8- Don’t share your spit
Share smoke, not spit. Nobody likes to puff on a soggy cigarette. If you’re using paper filters, like these pre-rolled tips from RAW, be sure your lips are dry when you inhale. Especially if there are any newbies in the group, be sure to remind everyone to keep it nice and dry. If you’re smoking from a pipe, it might be smart to pick up a box of these 420 Wipes and encourage your buddies to wipe the mouthpiece before they pass it on.
Rule #9- Ash it before you pass it
You don’t want anyone getting hit by an ash bomb, so be sure you’re ashing frequently and responsibly. Never pass anything if the ash needs to be knocked off. Stray ash in the wrong place can do damage, so be careful. If you want to be super prepped, bring a pocket ashtray to keep clean up easy. Another great tool for limiting ash-related incidents is the RAW ash catcher, made from heat resistant nylon, the catcher holds your cone and effortlessly allows you to catch every fleck of ash.
Rule #10- Watch where you blow your smoke
Be polite with where you blow your smoke. Be extra cautious not to blow smoke in your friend’s face. Depending on where you smoke, you might want to take extra steps to be discreet. Nobody wants their eyes to be red because they have a human fog machine in their face, so be careful. This smoke buddy air filter is a perfect addition to your smoker’s kit as it’ll help cover any lingering smells as well as assist with getting rid of some of that excess smoke. And, if you do suddenly get red eyes, for a reason completely unrelated to smoking, we’ve got eye drops for you too.
If you’re smoking alone, there are no rules, but when you’re in a smoke circle, you don’t want to be the one making rookie mistakes. It may sound like a lot to remember, but don’t stress too much over it. We’ve all slipped up once or twice on some of the rules, and will become second nature after a while. Just remember to be as respectful as possible, make sure your pack is stacked with the right smoking accessories, and to have a good time.