Some of the appeals of a lighted cigarette derive from the appeals of fire in general. Fire is the symbol of life, and the idea of fire is surrounded by much superstition. In this connection, it is interesting to note that traces of superstition can be seen in the smoking habits of modern man.
For instance some people never will light three cigarettes on one match. It is said that this superstition is based on experiences during World War I. As three soldiers were lighting up the third man was hit when the light of a match flared up for the last time.
Our custom of lighting another smoker’s cigarette for him may sometimes have an erotic significance, or it may serve as a friendly gesture. Match and cigarette are contact points.