Close, But No Cigar

Think cigars are safer than cigarettes? Think again.

CigarsIn movies, we’ve all seen businessmen, gangsters and even heroes, celebrating with a cigar to look “sophisticated.” They almost make you believe that cigar smoking is not only cool, but isn’t harmful. We know they’re not fooling anybody.

In reality, cigars are not a safe alternative. They contain the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes, but, unlike cigarettes, traditional cigars do not usually have filters! Not to mention, the only thing “sophisticated” about a cigar is that it delivers 20 times the tobacco that one cigarette does!

But cigars aren’t addictive, right? Wrong. One large cigar can contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes and most full-size cigars have about as much nicotine as several cigarettes combined. Heavy cigar smokers have increased risk of developing COPD, chronic bronchitis or emphysema.

But if I don’t inhale, I’m safe, right? Wrong again. Even those who don’t inhale or only smoke cigars “on occasion” are still at risk. Cigar smoke dissolves more easily in saliva than cigarette smoke, so cigar smokers can get the desired dose of nicotine without inhaling the smoke into their lungs.

Regardless of the method, reason or excuse, cigars contain tobacco and tobacco is deadly.


American Lung Association — Cigars

American Cancer Society — Cigar Smoking

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