Zippos: Yay or Nay?

Coltrane
John Coltrane

An emailer wants to know what I think about Zippo lighters. He asks if my tobacco ever tastes like “jet fuel” when I use my Zippo. As he points out, butane lighters and matches can be frustratingly ineffective outside. The slightest breeze is the foe of the pipe smoker. He noticed that on my videos the Zippo works perfectly well. But what about the taste?

After using a Zippo for several months I can say that I’ve gotten a fleetingĀ whiff of fluid only once or twice, and I’ve never noticed a change in the taste of the tobacco. I’ve been told by experienced people that the Zippo fluid — which is what I use — was changed some time ago to address complaints that it made the smoke yucky.

So I can unhesitatingly recommend Zippos. I use the pipe version, though I know of one veteran pipe smoker who prefers the regular insert.