Is lighting cigarettes with candles really unhealthy?

Many smokers warn each other against lighting their cigarettes with candles, claiming that it is extremely unhealthy. But is that really the truth or just a myth?

The claim

There are all kinds of wild theories that are supposed to explain the dangers of a candle flame. Many believe that the wax particles are harmful to health, others see the ingredients in the wick or in the candle smoke as the culprit.

There is also the legend that if you light a cigarette from a candle, a sailor will die. Again, it is not certain where this theory came from. The most well-known explanation is that the sailors made their money by selling matches. But if the cigarettes were lit with a candle, this was a loss of earnings for the sailor, who in the worst case would starve and eventually die.

The truth

Many studies have shown that candles and their combustion products contain nowhere near the concentration of harmful substances in a single cigarette. Nevertheless, when buying candles, you should generally make sure that they have a seal of approval and are not coated with acrylic paint.

You should also be careful with cheap figurine candles that don’t burn off the outer layer, as they may contain flame retardants, the fumes of which are bad for your health.


It doesn’t really matter to smokers how they light their cigarettes.  Because: Smoking is already so unhealthy due to nicotine, tar, condensate and other toxic substances that are  inhaled that a candle doesn’t make it much unhealthier.


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