22 February 2008

6 Facts You Should Know About Cigar Smoking

6 Facts You Should Know About Cigar SmokingIt’s a common misconception that cigar smoking is less dangerous than cigarette smoking. The truth of the matter is that cigars are dangerous and every bit as deadly as cigarettes. However, because upwards of 75 percent of cigar smokers are occasional smokers, they are generally exposed to smaller quantities of the poisons and carcinogens present in cigars than cigarette smokers are with their cigarettes. It’s because of this that there are fewer instances of disease and fatality due to cigar smoking.

1. One cigar may contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes.

A single cigarette usually contains less than a gram of tobacco, while cigars, which vary in size and shape, can have between 5 and 17 grams of tobacco.

2. Cigars are Addictive.

The amount of nicotine in a single cigar is many times greater than what is found in a cigarette. A typical cigarette contains one to two milligrams of nicotine, while the nicotine content of a cigar is 100 to 200 milligrams, with some as high as 400 milligrams. Cigar smoke is more alkaline than cigarette smoke. It readily breaks down in saliva, allowing the smoker to easily absorb nicotine through the lining of the mouth in quantities sufficient to cause addiction.

3. Cigar smoke is more concentrated and toxic than cigarette smoke.

ETS from cigar smoke varies from that of cigarette smoke for a couple of reasons. First, the manufacturing process for cigars requires a fermentation period. During this time, high concentrations of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) are produced. TSNA are some of the most carcinogenic compounds known to man. Secondly, cigar wrappers are not as porous as cigarette wrappers, making the combustion of a cigar less complete. These two factors result in higher concentrations of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon monoxide and tar in cigars than in cigarettes.

4. Smoking as little as one cigar a day increases the risk for cancer.

Cigar smoking has been linked to several different cancers, most notably those of the oral cavity, which include lip, tongue, mouth, throat and larynx. Cigar smokers are also at an increased risk for lung cancer and cancers of the pancreas and bladder.

5. Cigar and pipe smokers are at risk for early tooth loss.

In a study published in the January 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, it was discovered that cigar and pipe smokers are at an increased risk for early tooth loss, compared to that of their nonsmoking counterparts. Cigar and pipe smokers are also at an increased risk for alveolar bone loss.

6. Cigar smoking has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men.

Smokers are twice as likely to be impotent as nonsmokers due to the adverse effects smoking has on circulation, hormones and the nervous system. Cigar smoking and exposure to second hand smoke in particular have been shown to be significant risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

Steer clear of cigars, and avoid the second hand smoke they produce. There is no such thing as a safe tobacco product!