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Are Cigars Healthier Than Cigarettes?

I was out with some friends who were celebrating their engagement, and one of the guys pulled out some cigars. He offered one to me and I gave him this look like "Are you serious?" and he said, "Cigars aren't bad for you because you don't even inhale."

When you smoke a cigar, you're only supposed to suck the smoke into your mouth then blow the smoke out. So does that means it's any better for you than cigarettes?

It's still a tobacco product like cigarettes, right, so I think you know what the answer is. Large cigars typically contain between 5 and 17 grams of tobacco. Some premium brands have as much tobacco in 1 cigar as in a whole pack of cigarettes!

Plus, the tobacco in cigars is different than what's found in cigarettes. It's fermented tobacco, so it has a high concentration of nitrogen compounds. When smoked, these compounds give off several tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), some of the most potent human carcinogens known. Also, because the cigar wrapper is less porous than cigarette paper, the tobacco doesn't burn as completely. The result is a higher concentration of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and tar -- all very harmful substances.

What about secondhand smoke? To hear all about it

Large cigars can take about 1 to 2 hours to smoke. Even though you may not be inhaling directly from the cigar itself, you are still inhaling secondhand smoke for that long. Secondhand smoke has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) by the EPA. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds. More than 60 of these are known or suspected to cause cancer including arsenic, benzene, and vinyl chloride. Still want to take a puff?

Exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate effects on your cardiovascular system, and puts you at risk for developing coronary heart disease and lung cancer. Cigar smokers may be exposed to a bunch of others cancers too, such as mouth cancer, throat cancer, and cancer of the gums. Why would you want to put yourself at risk? I just don't get it.

Fit's Tips: So use your brain. Tobacco is tobacco, in any shape, and smoking tobacco products are known to cause illnesses and countless deaths. So take care of yourself and steer clear of cigarettes AND cigars. If not for yourself, than do it for the people who love you. I know I wouldn't want to have to explain to my family that I got lung cancer from smoking.


larrywalkeriii larrywalkeriii 8 years
I have to agree with Robbie. I have never smoked cigarettes before, but I am a cigar smoker, and an occasional pipe and hookah smoker. I smoke about 2-3 cigars a week, give or take. I have relatives who are cancer doctors who say (off the record of course) that they have never seen a direct correlation to smoking cigars and cancer. I really wanted to answer the few comments that I have seen asking "why even start smoking?" I can only ask, "why ever start eating pizza?" "Why ever start drinking coffee?" "Why ever start drinking soda?" " Why ever eat anything with sugar in it?" SO many people die of obesity related illnesses it's crazy. BUT...we do only have one life, and if before we do ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING we ask will this kill me eventually? Is this okay for everyone around me? We could never go to a restaurant, we could never go to an amusement park, heck, we could never get in a car. Anyway...I concur that you only have one life, and my policy for life is "All things in moderation." As long as it is not immoral.
Pazul29 Pazul29 8 years
Thank You Robbie423,The sad truth is that people are born with a genetic disposition for cancer cells. Non smokers have contracted lung cancer and died at young ages and chain smokers have lived into their 90’s. For me the big difference is seen in the addictive properties. I smoked cigarettes for 15 years and quitting was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, the physical and psychological addiction nearly crippled my ability to focus on anything else for months after I stopped smoking cigarettes. On the contrary it has been 3 years now I can smoke one cigar every 6 months and be perfectly fine, absolutely no withdrawals. The difference is clear for me; cigarettes were an addictive drug that dictated most of my day. Cigars however have become a bi-yearly indulgence that just makes me happy.
Robbie423 Robbie423 9 years
People who don't know about cigars SHOULDN'T talk about cigars. I've been in the cigar business for a long time. I own two cigar retail stores. I know many cigar growers and manufacturers. They have been smoking cigars since they could walk in their family's cigar fields. Most of them are in their 80's and 90's. NONE of them have ANY illnesses that have been mentioned. NO manufacturer, has died of cancer. Cigarettes are made with...too many chemicals to list...and cigars are ONLY made of tobacco, NO chemicals! And don't get me started about the whole second hand smoke thing. I can match you study for study on how there is NO DIRECT proof on this issue. All they say is that it MIGHT contribute to cancer. I just read an article about how vitamins MIGHT cause cancer. So, what are you going to believe? I'm not saying to start chain smoking cigars. I'm saying, smoking an occasional is not going to send you to the emergency room. Life is no fun if you're going to stop and think "OH MY GOD! I CANT SMOKE THAT, I'LL DIE, AND I'M GOING TO KILL EVERYONE ELSE AROUND ME!" LIVE your life, have fun! After all, it's the only one you've got! P.S. - Jim Fixx was healthy, and his heart exploded when he was only 52. So have fun while you can, cause you never know when your number is up!
minaminamina minaminamina 10 years
Oh, I'm not being serious Choco-cat. In America, I've seen these devastating effects... just very few other places. I find it odd, is all. Just like how fast food exists in every country - but I've only seen this obesity problem at such an extreme in America. Do you know what I mean? It's just terribly terribly odd.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
oh second hand smoke immediately puts me in a bad mood, makes my scalp itch and gives me a huge headache!!! :(
Choco-cat Choco-cat 10 years
minaminamina, I'd just like to say that my husband's parents smoked while he was a child and he has severe asthma (which can be a side affect of second-hand smoke; especially if your mother smoked while she was pregnant with you). Also, my grandfather died of emphysema and cancer of the mouth from smoking a pipe his whole life. I do not think the health risks involved in smoking for yourself and those around you can possibly be exaggerated. Even if not every smoker (and those near them) become ill because of it, for those that do - it is devastating.
krisua krisua 10 years
Sounds logical.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
Me no smokey. Ugh. My mother smoked a couple packs a day, and died at 59 with cancer in her lungs, spine, brain and heart. It started, of course, in her lungs. I have hated cigarettes since I was little, even shoving towels under my bedroom door so I wouldn't have to smell it coming from my parents. My father chain-smoked 2 to 3 packs a day until 1984 when he got a lung infection. It scared him enough, I guess, to quit. So it wasn't American culture that determined my hatred of smoking -- I was just born this way!
everythingnice everythingnice 10 years
i agree with you minaminamina!!!!
minaminamina minaminamina 10 years
Hookah uses sheesha - it's tobacco and flavoured molasses. Unless you're not talking about American way of smoking sheesha... anywhere else in the world, if they do it the old Arab way, it is wet tobacco and dried fruit. It isn't treated tobacco in any way, though, but I wouldn't be sure on the specifics of what precise difference that makes in what you take into your body. I smoke. My father smoked for 60 years, 1 pack a day, never got sick. Same with his parents, and my mothers parents. But there's something so odd about being a non-American and smoking, and being an American and smoking. As far back as I remember, my parents did everything that Americans would villify them for - they smoked in the house, around us - my mother would have a glass of wine a day while pregnant with all her children... However, my family's health history is nearly perfect. There's no occassions of heart troubles or cancer or the like. One aunt, a nonsmoker, died of stomach cancer unrelated to any environmental troubles - she grew up in a household of smokers, married a smoker, and never had any troubles. It's odd. I'm not saying this is true for every non-American, but I have only seen the stigma attached with cigarettes IN America, and have only seen the ill effects of smoking IN America. I'm playfully toying with the idea that the Americans obsession with legislation and control over the way people live their lives (for instance, suing tobacco companies), has planted a mental seed of the concept of vengeance... if one can make tobacco pay, then their body makes them pay for tobacco.
Hope5 Hope5 10 years
I hate the smell of both!
shottiehottie41 shottiehottie41 10 years
my husband smokes cigars and i can't figure out why he thinks they aren't as bad for you... his dad smokes all day every day and he absolutely hates it... but when he does it, it's ok... strange!
nefertiti nefertiti 10 years
Smoking's just an unhealthy habit no matter the shape or form. I'm with you, millarci. I don't understand the whole concept of smoking either.
tralalala tralalala 10 years
I have never smoked anything (with the exception of an herbal cigarette [mint] for a lighting exercize in film school), but I LOVE the smell of good cuban cigars. I know, it sounds gross, but wow do they smell good.
marley11 marley11 10 years
ok easy solution. don't smoke.
millarci millarci 10 years
Yeesh. I will NEVER understand the whole concept of smoking. You're not only hurting yourself but others around you.
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