A typical cigarette contains about a gram of tobacco and approximately one to two milligrams of nicotine. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to smoke a cigarette. In contrast, a cigar can contain anywhere from 5 to 17 grams of tobacco and widely varying amounts of nicotine - usually between 160 and 200 milligrams. Some premium cigars may have as many as 400 milligrams of nicotine in them. A cigar burns slowly and takes 2 hours or more to smoke.
Cigarettes and cigars differ primarily in how people use them. Cigarette smoke is inhaled into the lungs, and absorption of nicotine quickly follows. Cigar smoke is not usually inhaled because it is more harsh, but it's important to note that nicotine is still absorbed through the lining of the mouth in quantities sufficient to produce dependence. Also, cigarette smokers who smoke cigars are more likely to inhale the smoke from their cigars as well.
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