Blowing Smoke Rings


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Cigar smoke can have a nice ring to it, if you know how to puff. Many people spend years trying to perfect the art of blowing smoke rings, looking calm, cool, collected and like you're smoking donuts. However, smoke rings don't come without patience; it's an art form that many people practice, but only the persistent can perfect.

While you don't need to stretch a quad muscle or massage a hamstring before attempting to blow smoke rings, there are three parts of your body that you need to place focus, as each part plays a significant role in the ring of the smoke.

The Lips: They ain't just for chapstick anymore. The lips need to form an “O" shape, the kind of shape a person would exhibit while saying the word, “oooh. " Keep the “O" shape fairly loose, not puckering it like you would to give a kiss; you're not actually making out with the cigar smoke, you're just friends.

The Diaphragm: One of the body's most important muscles, the diaphragm controls a person's breathing. In order to blow smoke rings, you need to be in complete control of your diaphragm. Control of it allows you to create an air pulse, which will ultimately result in a ring.

The Epiglottis: Not to be confused with the furry character from Sesame Street, the Epiglottis is the flap of cartilage behind the tongue and in front of the voice box. During movement, it folds back to cover the entrance to the voice box, and prevents food and drink from going down the wrong tube.

Now that you know what body parts to focus on, here comes the tricky part: the actual act. One of the most important factors in blowing smoke rings is to blow into still air. Blowing into the wind is about as good an idea as spitting into it. Another highly important factor is the density of the smoke: the thicker, the better.

After drawing smoke into your mouth, let your lungs fill up, open your mouth slowly, making the “O" shape mentioned above. Curling the tip of your tongue down, pull it all the way back, like forming a sling shot for smoke rings.

To blow out the smoke, don't simply exhale. Allow your diaphragm to contract, but only let a small amount of smoke escape and push the smoke out with your tongue. It's best to do this in short bursts. The motion should be really relaxed, like a sedated frog trying to catch a fly. Drop your jaw, as if in shock at the beauty of your smoke rings, while keeping the “O" shape of your mouth. The sound your throat makes should be a short gasp, like a subtle grunt. Once you've made this sound, close your epiglottis, creating a small air pulse from your lungs, up your throat, and out your mouth.

Blowing smoke rings isn't easy. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of improvisation; you need to figure out the way that works best for you. However, once you've practiced the art form, smoke rings become much easier, and can come as easily as breathing itself. And, if frustration overcomes you and you simply cannot nail the art, just relax, stay calm, and have another cigar.

Jennifer Marie Jordan is an editor and staff writer for . At home in a design firm in Denver, Colorado, she writes articles specific to the finer things in life.


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