Think about it. A cigar is basically dry leaves, expensive kindling if you will, organic fuel. That being said, when setting your cigar properly ablaze you'll need more than just any ol' flame-producing contraption. You will need something that creates a clean burning flame -- the catalyst for a pure smoking experience.
The best case scenario is a thin strip of Spanish cedar, a middleman of sorts: 1.) Light a flame 2.) Touch flame to cedar 3.) Light cigar with cedar. Some manufacturers have even simplified the issue: Cedar Matchsticks! Just let the sulfur burn off and voilà! But be prepared to use a small army of matches in the process.
The downside of using little wooden sticks is not one of functionality, but one of efficiency and style. Although you might start a blazing inferno while reading Dante sequestered in the study, keeping a cedar strip lit out-of-doors is a frustrating lesson in futility. Matches and cedar can work in isolation, but they have a tough time adjusting to crowded rooms or stormy weather.
On the other hand, the worst case scenario is the fluid fueled lighters. These are basically designed for cigarettes and other less nefarious rituals like beach bonfires and reigniting pilot lights. Although that rusted World War II Zippo is a family heirloom, it will add a distinct chemical taste to your cigars. Save it for extreme emergencies.
So don't carry an inoperable box of matches, or a lighter that will add a not so subtle tinge of motor oil to your Friday night stick. Go with a butane lighter. Whether one prefers matches or could care less if their Coronas taste like candle wax, butane lighters are unquestionably the most efficient means of lighting your cigars in diverse conditions. Butane gas is an inexpensive, clean burning fuel that rarely adds flavor to your preferred post-meal Churchill.
A full range of cigar lighters using butane gas have arrived to help us savor our smokes during black-tie galas and hurricane gales. Some have wide flames allowing for more surface coverage, some are like torches that burn hot and intense year round, all are refillable allowing for lifetimes of use. These are prized possessions with purpose. From Atoll to S.T. Dupont, cigar lighters have entered a modern age of refined craftsmanship, design and beauty. Come rediscover fire.