How to Make Fake Cigar Smoke

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A cigar adds panache for theatrical characters.
A cigar adds panache for theatrical characters. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

If you need to use a cigar as a prop but do not want to actually smoke it, there are ways you can make it look like the cigar is giving off smoke when it is not. This technique works for theatrical productions and costumes when a cigar adds flair, but it is not necessary for you to damage your lungs to make a realistic costume. All you need to create the look are a few simple tools, as well as items you may already have on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Cigar
  • Sharp knife
  • Cotton balls
  • Talcum powder
  • Red foil
  • Glue

Take the tobacco out of the end of your cigar with your sharp knife. Empty it as much as you can, leaving approximately 1/2 inch of tobacco in the cigar near where you will puff. Be careful not to damage the cigar while you are emptying it or you will have to start over. Gently scrape the tobacco out with the knife and shake it over a trash can.

Place your cotton balls in a bowl of talcum powder. Cover the cotton balls with the powder. Begin with one or two cotton balls and add more if needed. Push the cotton balls into the cigar that has been emptied of tobacco until the cigar once again has a round shape and is relatively firm to the touch.

Scrunch up a small piece of red foil and attach it to the cotton at the end of the cigar, using a small amount of glue. This technique will make the tip of the cigar look like it is on fire.

Gently puff on the cigar, making sure that you do not inhale the talcum powder. The end of the cigar will give off a little puff of "smoke" when you blow out of it.

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