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Cigar 101

Can You Light a Cigar With a Candle?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Sure, we’ve all been hard-pressed to scare up a light when we’re ready to smoke at one time or another. When you can’t wait to get your cigar going, it’s tempting to take advantage of whatever incendiary device is in closest proximity. However, how you light your cigar matters. Unless it’s an absolute last resort, here’s why lighting your cigar with a candle is bad idea.

A Candle Will Interfere with a Cigar’s Taste

The biggest reason you shouldn’t light your cigar off a burning candle is that the flavor of your cigar will be impacted. A scented candle especially will ruin the taste of your cigar, but even non-scented candles should be avoided. The most traditional way to light a cigar is with cedar spills, and that’s because it’s the cleanest way to light a cigar.

Today most candles are made from paraffin wax, beeswax, soy wax, or palm wax. When you light a cigar from a candle’s wick, you’re sucking the byproduct of spent wax into your cigar. The residual taste of wax will remain in your cigar until you’re done smoking it. Paraffin wax, for example, is made from petroleum which releases a thin stream of soot into the air as it burns – not something that will improve your cigar’s taste. If a candle is truly the only option you’ve got to light your cigar, put the cigar back in your pocket and wait to smoke it when you’ve got some matches in your hand.

Lighting a Cigar with a Candle Is Dangerous

For some it may seem intuitive to light a cigar with a candle because a candle burns continuously, making it easier for the cigar to fully ignite. Despite this efficiency, a candle is still not a good idea. Outside of a candle sabotaging your cigar’s flavor, it’s also dangerous. The flame naturally expands and contracts at the foot of a cigar when you’re first puffing on it to light it. Drawing aggressively on your cigar over a candle’s wick can create a fairly substantial flame – one that can engulf whatever is nearby and flammable. Light your cigars with matches or a traditional cigar lighter, and save the fire department a trip. When you’re holding the flame in your hands, from match sticks or a lighter, you have more control.

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