Cigar smoking is considered a refined, sophisticated enjoyment that speaks of culture and contemplation. Unlike smoking a cigarette, cigars require quite a bit of effort to smoke. In fact, there is an etiquette to the process, even to lighting the cigar. How do you light a cigar, following this etiquette? What makes a good lighting process and what options should you avoid?
To light your smoke properly, you must first prepare the tobacco to accept the flame. Hold your lighter below the foot (cut end) of the cigar. Do not let the flame touch the tobacco. Now, rotate the cigar in your fingers, allowing the wrapper and the tobacco to warm with the heat rising from your lighter. Feel the foot to make sure that it is evenly warmed (it should not be very hot, so this is safe). Once you are sure that the cigar has been warmed, you can move on.
The next step in the lighting process is to place the cigar in your mouth. Hold your lighter in front of the cigar, but do not touch the flame to the tobacco. Slowly draw on the cigar so that the movement of air brings the flame into contact with the tobacco. During this process, use your free hand to turn the cigar in your mouth. This ensures that the flame from your lighter is able to contact all parts of the cigar and wrapper evenly. Once you feel that the cigar has been lit successfully, take it out of your mouth and examine it. If you notice areas that are not quite burning, blow on them gently and they will catch.
You should always opt to use either a butane lighter to light your cigar or wooden matches. Some diehard aficionados actually light wooden tapers and use these instead. The reason is that lighters with lighter fluid (rather than butane) and cardboard matches can impart a foul, chemical taste to your smoke, rendering your enjoyment less than it should be. Following these few tips will help ensure that every time you light a cigar, you are as successful as possible and help ensure that you enjoy that smoke.