Does anyone out there flip one cigarette in the pack? You may be following a GI tradition.
Whenever the troops sent to Europe or the Pacific would light up, they would flip all of the cigarettes inside the pack except for one. This is so that the brand stamp on the cigarette butt would not tell the enemy the country of origin of the smoker as it was burnt first. As for the last unflipped one, well, if you lived long enough to smoke your way through an entire pack, that last cigarette was your lucky one.
Other theories said the practice started during the Vietnam War. At this time, filters for cigarettes were becoming a thing as an initiative to reduce tar and nicotine yields. Because of that, cigarettes could only be smoked one way. The practice changed a bit, and the soldiers would only flip one instead, although the belief is still there: if you live long enough, then you’d be fortunate to smoke your “lucky cigarette.”
Taking the third light was also considered bad luck. The first light draws attention, the second light provides an aiming point and the third light results in being shot. So there you go all you non believers smoking can be dangerous to your health.