To light your cigar, you'll want to select an appropriate instrument for the job. Think twice about what you choose though as you can either enhance or ruin your smoking experience.

Most purists prefer to use cedar strips but these don't ususally fit well in your pocket without breaking. The easiest way to do this if you don't have a spare supply laying around is to use the cedar wrapper around many of your finer cigars.

While we are talking about wood and fire like proper cave men, perhaps we should say a word or two about matches. Wood and wait are those words. Make sure they are wooden matches so that you have enough room to wait for all the sulphur to burn off before attempting to light your cigar so it doesn't adversely affect the taste. You'll need time to properly light your 'gar so make sure it is long enough for the job.


 need a correct lighter. Some cigars buffs use cedar strips for the job but most people find these hard to carry around. Most people prefer to use matches or butane lighter. When using matches, wooden ones are the best because they look cool and they stay lit longer. Just be sure you let the sulfur burn off before you light up the cigar. If you opt for a lighter, make sure it uses butane fuel. Why? Well, just about anything else that you could use to light the cigar will affect the cigar's taste. Regular fluid lighters have an odor that can be transfered to the cigar if the flame is allowed to touch the foot. This includes those lighters that you have been collecting since you were a kid. So, forget about it when lighting a cigar.

Take the cigar in your hand and light your flame source. Slowly rotate the cigar with in fingers as you lightly toast the tobacco on the foot of the cigar. Never let the flame touch the foot as you rotate the cigar in your fingers. Put the cigar in your mouth and continue to light as you rotate the cigar, gently puffing in every few seconds.

When the cigar is lit, remove it from your mouth and look at the foot to make sure it is burning evenly. If it isn't, you can gently blow on the foot causing it to ignite the tobacco which is not burning or you can apply a flame to that area. If you have an area which is burning faster than the other areas, simply wet your finger and apply under the quick burning area, this should slow it down.

A cigar that goes out completely, or ones that burn unevenly down one side can indeed be relit with satisfactory result, if done right. The trick is to bring it to life again without poisoning it with that dead cigar-butt taste. To do so, you must heat the cold soot back up to temperature to drive off the volatile, evil-tasting components tasting in it.

Don't put a light to it and puff it to life, for the reasons in previous section. Instead, coax all the loose ash out and heat the wrapper rim until the gray ring tells you it's lit all around. Remember, a cigar dies at its periphery first-often, the centre of filler is still burning. You want to slowly heat the binder back to ignition again. Thus, the fire will burn inward, merging with the life central coal, and you can resume smoking. But like the initial cigar lighting, don't hurry the process.

A cigar that continues to burn down one side and which requires frequent relighting, was rolled improperly and can't be saved. Likewise, don't bother to relight a cigar that has been out for an hour or longer.

TIP If you are smoking your favourite cigar, and it starts to burn hot, try this little tip. Gently blow the cigar to blow out all the smoke in the cigar, then set the cigar down for a minute, then smoke as usual. It works!

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