There are no buts about it – smoking is bad for you. We all know that, but for those who crave a smoke every once in a while, is there a less harmful option between cigars and cigarettes? There are many myths regarding the differences between these two smoking options. In this article, we’ll set the record straight.
To figure out whether cigars or cigarettes are worse for your health, it’s important to first understand the differences between these two smoking options. The following are some of the key differences between cigars and cigarettes:
The differences between cigars and cigarettes listed above account for many of the reasons that cigars are actually worse for you than cigarettes in most cases. First of all, the ingredients in cigars are in such larger quantities that many cigar smokers don’t realize the impact. For example, it could take 15 to 20 cigarettes to equal the same amount of tobacco in one large cigar. Therefore, regular cigar smokers often don’t realize that their habit could be the equivalent of smoking a pack a day – or more.
(If you’re trying to kick the habit, read Tips On How To Quit Smoking As Soon As Possible.)
Secondly, the size of the cigar accounts for much more exposure to second-hand cigar smoke. In addition to the cigar smoke that goes inside a smoker’s mouth and throat, many of these individuals sit in a cigar smoke-filled area for an hour or more while they smoke. In addition to that, it can take hours for that smoke to dissipate inside someone’s home. This second-hand smoke contains dozens of cancer-causing chemicals, some of which occur in higher quantities than in cigarette smoke. This is partially due to the cigars’ nonporous wrappers which lead to an increase in toxin concentration.
The process by which cigars are made also makes them a health hazard. The fermentation process used for cigar tobacco leads to high concentrations of nitrosamines, which can cause cancer.
Despite this information, cigarettes are just as bad for you. Both cigars and cigarettes can cause numerous types of cancer, including cancer of the lungs, mouth, tongue and esophagus. In addition, oral diseases such as gum disease may occur as the result of smoking. Cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, coronary artery disease, COPD and emphysema are much more common among smokers than non-smokers.
Many cigarette smokers try smoking cigars because they believe they are less harmful. However, most of the myths about cigars aren’t true. For example:
It’s important to remember that, even if cigars are often worse for your health compared to cigarettes, neither of these smoking options are good for you. Both products are highly addictive and there is no safe level of tobacco use. There are several ways you can get help to quit smoking, including the Cancer.gov website (link below).