Man in suit lighting a cigar

Whether you are new to the world of smoking, or have simply never smoked a cigar in your life, there is a way to light them that can make the entire smoking experience worth it.

Lighting cigars can be quite tricky to do at first and are not as easy as lighting a simple cigarette. This is because cigars are made slightly differently to cigarettes, and are wrapped a lot tighter. This means more effort is required to fully light the tobacco, and get the cigar smoking experience you desire.

In this article, we delve deeper into cigars and share how to light a premium cigar in the easiest way possible, so you never need to worry again.

If you want to browse through some of the best cigar lighter models for this year, head over to my full Guide on the topic.

Choose a Good Quality Cigar

Before we even get to the lighting of the cigar, you want to make sure you have chosen a good-quality cigar that you really want to smoke. Cohiba cigars are some of the finest made cigars available today and are highly recommended to try.

If you have ever shopped for cigars, you may have noticed that they come in various sizes, so when you are shopping be sure to choose one that is suitable for you. A good thing to do beforehand is to smell the cigar to get an overall idea of how it will taste. This way you will most likely enjoy smoking it. There is nothing worse than purchasing a cigar which you end up hating only after having lit it.

It is recommended to avoid cigars with any tears in the wrapper, and those which look flakey, spotted or mottled. If you are purchasing online, be sure to check other buyer’s reviews beforehand, to make sure they are of a good enough quality. Good cigars will never crumble in your hand, and if you are new to smoking them, it’s a good idea to start small until you get the hang of it.

Learn how to distinguish cigars by their wrappers by clicking here…

Choose an Odorless Flame

Choose an Odorless Flame

When it comes to lighting, it is recommended to use an odorless flame. The most popular is the butane style of lighter which many cigar connoisseurs own. Many smokers also enjoy arc lighters which can be charged up and used whenever. Additionally odorless flames can include things like matches and torch lighters. Things like candles and petrol lighters should definitely be avoided as the odors they produce would overwhelm the taste of the cigar, and therefore ruin the entire smoking experience.

When Lighting Cigars With Matches

If you are lighting your cigar with a match, be sure to allow the sulfur to burn out before you present it to the cigar. If you don’t and immediately light the cigar, you may inhale a strong sulfur-like taste, which isn’t too pleasant. Remember that depending on the size of the cigar, you may need more than one match to light it fully.


When the match is lit, simply hold the cigar in your hand with your thumb and index finger and present the match head to the tip, being careful not to hold the flame too close to the face.

Xikar EX Windproof Flame Cigar Lighterimage 100775552 15452400

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Toasting a Cigar

Instead of directly lighting the cigar, many smokers tend to toast the end of the cigar. This is because it dries out the tobacco leaves and prepares them for a better light. Sometimes a direct flame can burn them too quickly and leave a poor aftertaste.

To toast a cigar, simply place it in your mouth and place it at a 45-degree angle towards the flame, but not directly into it. Then, using your mouth, gently rotate the cigar in front of the flame to give it a good toasting. When the tip is smoldering hot, then you will know you’ve got the technique right. Many experienced smokers will simply toast their cigars until they are fully lit.

When It’s Ready to Smoke

As soon as you notice your cigar starting to smolder after being toasted for a few minutes, it will start to smoke. It might not yet be fully lit, however, it will be ready to be lit. At this moment, you can then place the cigar between your lips in a position you find comfortable.

Start With Short Puffs


When it’s finally time to begin the smoking, it is recommended to begin slowly by taking short puffs while still holding the cigar close to the lit flame. This will draw the flame directly into the cigar and fully light the end of it. Similar to the previous step, it’s best not to hold the cigar directly in the flame, and just above it.

The difference when smoking a cigar in comparison to a cigarette is that you should NEVER inhale cigar smoke as this can be really unpleasant and even cause nausea. This is the mistake which many first-timers do, and which may put them off smoking cigars for life.

To check if the cigar has been lit evenly, a good trick is to blow across the end of the cigar to see how good it has been lit. If it has been successfully lit, then the entire end will glow brightly. If not, continue with some short puffs and rotation until the tip is fully glowing. Another tip is to put only the very tip of the cigar between your lips to avoid too much saliva from getting on the end as this will ruin the taste experience.

Vertigo Eloquence Red Lighterimage 100775552 15452400

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When You Are Finished

When you feel you have smoked enough, simply lay down the cigar in an ashtray. Unlike cigarettes, cigars do not need to be stubbed out and can be left to go out naturally. Usually, a cigar will be finished at around two-thirds of the way down.


To finish, we hope this article has helped you to understand a little more on how to light a cigar the correct way, and just how easy it is.

Hopefully, you will no longer need to worry about wasting cigars in the future by lighting them the wrong way. Happy Puffing!

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