How to Fix Cigar Burn Issues

We have all been burned by a bad burn (yes, pun intended). Burn issues are one of the most common problems cigar smokers face while enjoying this hobby. Cigar burn issues come in three main forms: tunneling, coning, and canoeing.

cigar tunneling


Tunneling refers to the issue we see when the filler tobacco burns faster than the wrapper tobacco causing a tunnel to form on the inside of the cigar. Tunneling usually occurs because of overly slow smoking. When a smoker goes a long period of time without puffing on their smoke, the cherry cools, leaving only the core hot. The wrapper and binder stop burning while the filler tobacco keeps smoldering.

You can usually tell when a tunnel is forming as there is progressively less smoke coming from the cigar. The best way to prevent tunneling is to puff on your cigar often to prevent the wrapper from getting too cool. If the tunnel has already formed, you will need to even up the burn by lighting the outside tobacco with your lighter or match.

cigar coning


Coning is the exact opposite of tunneling, the wrapper burns quicker than the filler tobacco leaving a distinct cone shape once the ash drops. This burning issue is typically caused by smoking too fast. The frequent puffing causes the tightly packed filler to get overheated and burn away the surrounding wrapper and binder tobacco.

You can usually tell when a cigar is beginning to cone as the smoke becomes harsher as the filler heats. Setting the cigar down and allowing it to cool for a couple of minutes usually fixes this issue, but you should make sure to smoke more slowly when you continue.

cigar canoeing


Canoeing refers to a severe divergence in the burn line of the cigar. This is one of the most common burn issues and is usually caused by an incorrect light, or by an unevenly humidified cigar. Canoeing can usually be prevented by rotating your cigar as you smoke it, which will allow the ash to heat more evenly.

If you notice your cigar is starting to canoe, try wetting the faster-burning side with a little spit to slow it down. If this doesn’t work, you can fix the burn with a lighter by lighting the side that is burning more slowly.

You may face other burn issues when smoking a cigar, but these are the most common. What other cigar burn issues have you experienced? Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to offer a solution! KEEP BURNING THE LEAF!

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