Question: What are the health hazards associated with cigar smoking?
What are the dangers to my health from smoking cigars? Is it true that they are a safer smoking choice than cigarettes?
Answer: While people often think that cigars are a "safer" smoking alternative to cigarettes, this is absolutely not true. It is more accurate to say that there are fewer cases of smoking-related disease and death due to cigars because they are used differently than cigarettes.
Approximately 75% of cigar smokers don't inhale or smoke on a daily basis, while the vast majority of cigarette smokers do inhale and smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day. Also, some of the toxins contained in cigar smoke are present in levels that exceed those in cigarette smoke.
Cigar smoking has been linked to several smoking-related diseases and conditions.Cancer
It is suspected that the TSNAs in tobacco smoke may contribute to cervical cancer. Research is ongoing. Cigar smoke is laden with TSNAs.
COPD / Emphysema
Most cigar smokers don't inhale, but for those who do, the potential for damage to the lungs is similar to that of cigarette smoke.
Cigar smoking has been linked to coronary artery disease. Smoking is hard on the heart.
Cigar smoking and exposure to second hand smoke in particular have been shown to be significant risk factors for erectile dysfunction.
1. Alveloar Bone Loss and Tooth Loss in Male Cigar and Pipe Smokers. Krall, Elizabeth et al. January, 1999. Journal of the American Dental Association.
2. Effect of cigar smoking on the risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer in men. Iribarren, Carlos et al. June, 1999. New England Journal of Medicine.
3. Questions and Answers about Cigar Smoking National Cancer Institute.