Q&A: How to light a cigar
Continuing with our “Are you kidding me” questions, today let’s take a look at the proper way to light a cigar. No, you can’t just stick it in your mouth, fire up your Bic and inhale. Well, you can, but all you’re apt to get out of that experience is nauseous.
The first step to properly lighting your cigar is to start with the right tool. Gas station lighters, like your disposable Bic, contain a liquid fuel that can severely affect the taste of your cigar – and not in a good way. What you need is a butane lighter or wooden matches. A torch lighter is best for cigars.
While some veteran smokers do hold their cigars in their mouths while they light up. that’s either because they have a good beverage in their other hand, or they have smoked long enough their process has become habit. Yet even an aficionado will most likely start by holding the flame about a half inch from the head of the cigar at a 45-degree angle like you see in the picture at the top of this article. This is commonly known as “toasting” the cigar.
Once the edge of the foot is lit, continue to maintain your half-inch distance but aim the flame to the center of the foot where the filler tobacco is. As you light it up, puff on the cigar so the flame is drawn into the foot of the cigar, but take care not to inhale.
Finally, check to make sure you have an even light, take a sip of your beverage of choice, sit back and prepare to relax and enjoy.