How to Smoke a Black and Mild – Beginner’s Guide

Key Takeaways

  • How to smoke: Don’t inhale the smoke into your lungs, just hold it in your mouth and enjoy the flavor. You can also retrohale by blowing the smoke out through your nose.
  • Nicotine effects: Black and Milds contain nicotine, which can help you relax and stimulate creativity. But be careful not to overdo it, or you might feel dizzy or nauseous.
  • Drink pairing: Black and Milds are sweet, so you might want to balance them with something bitter or dark, like black coffee or dark chocolate. Sparkling water can also cleanse your palate between puffs.
  • Lighting method: Use matches or a torch lighter to light your Black and Milds. Avoid sulfur matches or letting the flame touch the tobacco. Take your time and don’t rush the lighting process.

Black and Milds are a classic, sweet gas station cigar perfect for rookies. But if you’re completely new to smoking, it’s natural that you’ll have questions about the best way to enjoy them.

But fear not – this is as straightforward a smoke as you could hope to find.

Their characteristic wooden tip makes them nice and easy to smoke without getting any tobacco in your mouth, and their smaller form factor means you can enjoy a slice of relaxation without getting too much of a nicotine buzz.

I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know to get the most out of these affordable, smooth smokes – so let’s get into it.

Should You Inhale Black and Milds?

Black and Milds are cigarillos, and you should smoke them just like cigars. You suck the smoke into your mouth, not into your lungs.

The relaxing nicotine is absorbed by the soft tissue in your mouth, so just hold the smoke in your mouth and enjoy the flavor. If you take a deep inhale, you’re going to find the experience harsh and unpleasant.

Because cigars have more tobacco than regular cigarettes (and no filter), inhaling directly is going to administer too much nicotine to your bloodstream, and could leave you feeling “nic sick”. This is a feeling of dizziness or queasiness that usually passes within an hour or so – but 



When smoking cigars or cigarillos, you can use a common technique called retrohaling. This is where you hold the smoke in your mouth, and blow it out through your nose without inhaling.

It’s an opportunity to further investigate the smoke through a more direct sense of smell. I will generally use this technique maybe once or twice across the duration of my smoke – if you do it too much, you might find your sense of smell becomes gradually desensitized.

Do Black and Milds Give You a Buzz 

Like all tobacco products, Black and Milds contain plenty of nicotine. 

Nicotine is a nootropic that can help you relax and stimulate creativity. This feeling is often referred to as a “nicotine buzz”, and most people find it pretty pleasant. I know I certainly do. 

Just make sure you’re not overdoing it. Nicotine is transferred much more readily through the lungs than through the mouth, and if you smoke a cigarillo like a cigarette you may find yourself regretting it. 

If you do end up taking it too far, try drinking something sugar or eating a square of chocolate. It will raise your blood sugar level, and I have found that it helps me feel a little less faint.

What Should I Smoke Black and Milds With?

Black and Milds are pretty sweet, so I like balancing them out with something bitter and dark.

Coffee and cigar with coffee beans around

Black coffee in the morning works really well, and I also enjoy winding down in the evening with a square of dark chocolate.

If you’re newer to smoking cigars, I recommend pairing Black and Milds with a glass of sparkling water. It will cleanse your palate between tokes and allow you to get a full sense of the tobacco flavor, rather than tasting a combination of smoke and whatever else you are drinking.

How to Light a Black and Mild

I fancy myself to be a traditionalist, and as a result, prefer using matches to light my Black and Milds. It just feels more gentlemanly to me.

However, be aware that some matches contain sulfur, which carries an odor that will corrupt the flavor of your first few drags.

 Some people will light the match and allow the sulfur to burn off before putting the flame on the cigar. I find that to be a bit risky since the sulfur odor gets introduced to the cigar, thus ruining the flavor. So make sure to buy cigar matches that are sulfur-free.

Also, cigar matches are a bit longer, meaning they can maintain the flame a little longer. Since lighting a cigar is expected to be time-consuming, cigar matchmakers strategically add a cedar split to carry the flame a bit longer.

There are occasions where I will use a torch lighter – if I’m outside, the wind will quickly put out a soft flame of a match.

Lighting a cigar with a torch lighter

A blue flame is much hotter than a soft yellow flame, so if you’re using a torch lighter make sure the flame never touches the rim or the filler tobacco. Just hold the cigar above the flame and let the heat rise. Don’t rush, or you’ll end up charring the tobacco and tasting a bitter flavor.

What’s the Best Black and Mild Flavor for Beginners?

While there are plenty of flavors available (Apple, Cream… even Wine) my recommendation for beginners is still the originals.

They’re sweet enough to balance out the smokey flavor, and are a good place to get a feel for backwoods before you start adding extra elements to the palate.

If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other guides for beginner cigar fans:

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