Christina Lahara, who manages the Cigar Lounge at Patroon, demonstrates the right way to light a cigar:
First cut the cap, or the end of the cigar. The neatest, most easily executed cut is probably made with a guillotine-style cutter. Or you can simply bite off the end.
To light the cigar, use a long-burning match or a non-gasoline burning lighter, which gives off a tasteless flame. Hold the cigar at a right angle and char the end. Rotate the cigar so the entire end is charred evenly.
Place the cigar between your lips and, holding the flame to the tip, draw slowly as you rotate it. Then gently blow on the lit end to make sure you have an even light. Enjoy your smoke!
A version of this article appeared in the Feb/Mar 1997 issue of Fast Company magazine.