The roll-your-own smoker's guide to etiquette

The importance of being respectful and making the right impression.

We put together our best guide and tips for smoking in private and public spaces. Follow these courteous acts, and you’ll be widely regarded as the classy lady/gentleman who everyone wants to roll with.

A lot of advice stems from the golden rule: treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Don't judge people who smoke more or less than you do. Or when you go to a friend’s place for the first time, always ask if it’s okay to smoke before you light up. And never "out" a closeted smoker if they'd prefer to be discreet about it.

Anything that is done in either public or private social settings, there are both good and bad ways to conduct yourself while you’re smoking away from home. That’s why we created two lists of rules that will serve you well in different settings.

Smoking in private: 8 rules for sharing and caring

For those who have been smoking in social settings for a while, sharing etiquette may seem very natural. But for the novices in the group, these unspoken rules can get a little confusing. Customs and rituals all play a role in keeping the roll-your-own community connected. Learn them well, and pass them on…

  1. If you go out with another smoker and happen to be carrying a lighter, always offer to light his/her smoke first. It’s a small gesture that makes a big impression.
  2. If you borrow someone’s lighter, return it (just like anything else borrowed should be handed back as soon as possible.)
  3. When sharing in a group, pass your smoking vessel/device to the left, as a reminder to figuratively and literally follow your heart.
  4. When it's your turn in the circle, don't hang on too long and keep sharing the love, lest you be labelled a Bogart (the way film legend Humphrey Bogart let a cigarette perpetually dangle from his lower lip). Also, don't hesitate and delay while everyone else is waiting their turn to share the roll.
  5. When shared supplies run low, be especially efficient to ensure enough goes around.
  6. Never disparage someone else's products, or refuse to smoke them in favour of your own. It's just rude. If you're sharing someone else's roll, be respectful of their personal taste. If someone else is sharing your smoke, don't act like it suddenly makes you lord of the manor.
  7. Don’t drop ash where it shouldn’t be. Definitely not on a carpet or porch. You don't want to offend your host by leaving a burn mark somewhere. Find an ashtray or a container that can be disposed of properly when you've enjoyed your smoke.
  8. Never ask for a smoke from the same person twice. They've already done you a favour, don't push it!


Smoking in public: 7 ways to be mindful of others

Smoking can be tricky business in certain situations. One has to be careful about not harming or offending anyone. It’s all part of basic manners.  

  1. Don’t smoke in a car if you’ve got even one non-smoker present. Not everyone is cool with being stuck in a hotbox.
  2. Give a little extra personal space while smoking in company. Blow your smoke away from people and never take a drag right before you speak. If in a conversation, turn your head away when you exhale.
  3. If you happen to be in a big group, trying standing next to fellow smokers. If you're smoking on the porch or balcony, move away from open doors and windows to keep the smoke from drifting inside.
  4. If someone asks you to stop smoking, either excuse yourself to find a different spot or put out your smoke. Reacting badly or objecting would be rude. You can always light up later.
  5. Offer to share your roll with others who smoke, when you’re in a place where it's acceptable to do so.Ashtrays
  6. Even in public places, try not to litter. There are outdoor ashtrays everywhere. You don’t want to visit an establishment with butts all over the walkway, do you?
  7. Make sure you're stocked with your supplies on the go. Why find yourself in a position where you have to bum a smoke from a random stranger?

Step up your session with the right carry

Wherever you roam, however you roll, whatever your ritual, you need a case with sleek and secure storage made for life on the go and experiences worth sharing.

Designed for the style-minded modern smoker, the Wellburne Traveller is your go-to companion. We combined a flameless rechargeable electric arc lighter with storage for your papers or cones, tips, and your smoking products — right-sized for your pocket or purse. In our next article, we’ll talk about the different types of lighters available out there, plus why we chose the arc for our design.