A smoke ring is a visible vortex ring formed by sudden release of smoke. It can be created by blowing smoke from the mouth, quickly lighting a cigarette lighter and putting it out or holding a burning incense stick or a cigarette vertically, pushing it with the burning side up and suddenly pulling it back (or just stopping it).
Smoking experts claim that there are at least dozen of different techniques to blow smoke rings for cigarette smokers, so will focus on a most traditional and best documented way.
Here are the steps that you should follow to learn the basics of blowing smoke rings:
- Light the cigarette, and just enjoy the first few drags - the first two are usually lighter anyway. Make sure to relax! Trying too hard is one of the main things causing failure.
- Take a large drag on your cigarette or cigar. You want to take in as much smoke as you can possibly hold without needing to inhale it, cough it out or release it. You’re going to be holding this smoke for a long time so don’t overdo it even though you’re trying to take in as much smoke as possible.
- Try to inhale the smoke towards the very top front of your throat without actually inhaling all the way. Practice makes perfect with this part of the trick.
- Hold the smoke in this area of your throat.
- Press your tongue down. You want your tongue pointing towards the bottom lip from the inside of your mouth.
- Form your lips into the shape of an “O”. The shape of your mouth should be the same as if you were saying oooooooooo (rather than if you were saying “oh”). Widen this shape as much as possible while still keeping the smoke in your mouth.
- Begin pushing little puffs of the smoke out of your mouth. This is frequently described as trying to say “uh uh uh” quietly with your mouth. This should push the smoke out in bursts that turn into rings because of the O shape of your mouth.
Here are some additional tips that you should take into consideration when learning to blow smoke rings:
- Practice without smoke. It's best to get an idea of how to puff the air out from your throat without smoke first, so that doing it with smoke will come more naturally. Position your face facing straight forward, with your mouth open to a comfortable 'O' position. Place your tongue as flat as you can on the bottom of your mouth, out of the way. WITHOUT EXHALING OR INHALING, push air out quickly with your throat in small, short bursts. It should make a very quiet "uh. uh. uh." sound, similar to the quiet noises a chimpanzee makes. Try and push the bursts out with as little air at a time as possible, making them as short and separated as possible. To practice further, breathe out slowly through your mouth and then use your throat muscles and tongue to block the flow of air. Practice until you can do this quickly.
- The source of your smoke makes a big difference in how easy it is to blow smoke rings. People who are just getting started may want to try cigars instead of cigarettes because it’s easier to blow smoke rings with cigars. If you want to use cigarettes, try to find ones that are full flavor since they’ll create more smoke and make it easier to blow visible smoke rings.
- Pack the cigar or cigarette as tightly as possible. This is done by tapping the mouth end of the cigarette against a table to bring all of the tobacco to that end.
- This is a simple method for beginners: to blow smoke rings that persist with speed and accuracy, pop your jaw upwards instead of trying to force air forward with your glottis.
- Try practicing in front of a mirror. You will be able to watch the smoke form, how it flows, and how the shape and movement of your mouth affects it.
- Experiment with the force and speed of your exhales, and note what works when attempting to form rings. Make sure that your jaw is comfortable, and not jutted out too far. If the smoke just blows away quickly, check to see if there is a breeze or strong airflow where you're smoking (this can disrupt the rings before they can form).
- To make your O's travel faster and further, try to incorporate a speedy tongue push along with a rapid jut of your jaw. These two motions should be the last motions of blowing an O, meaning that they should be the motions that push the O from your lips. Try to keep the tip of your tongue placed behind your lower front teeth at the gum line at all time, and try to only push with the middle of your tongue. The hardest part to master about this technique is the jaw motion. You pretty much have to figure it out on your own. This technique takes the most practice, but once you master it you will be the master of shooting those O's, and will be capable of shooting O's that seem to continue to drift until disturbed. The furthest O that's been shot with this technique is 14 feet, from one end of a room to another.
- Play around with changing the shape of your lips to get different effects with your smoke rings. Many people try to cause their smoke rings to spin. This can be done by rapidly pulling your lips in and down as the smoke is pushed through them when you’re making those “uh” sounds.
- Notably, you don’t actually want to make those “uh” sounds out loud. You’re not using your voice to create the smoke rings. You just want to make the same motion with your mouth that you would make to create that sound.
- If attempting tricks outside close your lips more than usual because that way the wind doesn't get into your mouth. The wind direction is very important. If it is blowing from back, it will be quite difficult to reach a nice effect, so try getting it to blow to your ears, or partially to your cheek.
- Practice, practice, practice. It’s surprisingly easy for people to learn how to make smoke rings with their cigars or cigarettes. However, it takes some practice to really get good at doing them consistently. If this is a trick that you really want to know then you need to put some time in to practice it. Most people find that this is a fun thing to practice and they can practice any time that they’re smoking.
It’s fairly easy for even casual smokers to learn to blow smoke rings if they take the time and have the patience to learn. If you find that you enjoy doing tricks like this to entertain the people who happen to be around you when you smoke then you may want to move on to more advanced smoking tricks. Many of these are advanced variations on the smoke rings; such as blowing one ring inside of another ring.
To blow a smaller smoke ring through a larger one, just take into account which way the smoke rings are floating, and how fast. Blow a ring carefully, so that it retains shape, yet moves slowly, then constrict your lips a little more, and blow a smaller one. The smaller one should move faster by design, but if it doesn't, use lip curling to make it move faster. After that, it's all aim!
If you want to blow mini-rings, gather smoke using only your mouth, then form your lips in a small "ooo" shape. Then using your tongue and mouth blow the smoke out slowly and steadily, and flick your cheek. For each flick of the cheek, you'll get a mini-ring!
- The intensity of the smoke might cause you to cough when you're first learning the trick, or if you're a beginner smoker.
- Don't try the trick in public until you've mastered it in private.
- Do not blow a smoke ring in someone’s face unless they want you to. That is rude.
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