Is cigar smoking safer than cigarette smoking?

Are cigars safer than cigarettes?

Cigar smoking and smokeless tobacco have been heavily promoted and have increased in use in recent years. Cigar smokers, as well as pipe smokers, differ from cigarette smokers in that they usually do not inhale. It is true that cigar and pipe smoking carries a lower risk of heart disease than cigarette smoking. However, former cigarette smokers who are used to inhaling may inhale when they switch to cigars, even though cigar and pipe smoke is more irritating to the lungs than cigarette smoke. Those cigar smokers who do inhale actually have higher rates of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases than cigarette smokers; and those who don’t inhale each puff still passively inhale some of their own secondhand smoke. Whether one inhales or not, the use of cigars and chewing tobacco carries an increased risk of cancers of the mouth and throat, as does inhaling secondhand cigar smoke.
Smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco or snuff, provides a dose of nicotine similar to that of cigarettes along with the same physical addiction. The routines involved are just as psychologically addicting. The exact risk of heart disease from these substances is not yet known, but because they contain nicotine, they also present a danger to the cardiovascular system. Quitting smokeless tobacco is just as hard as quitting cigarette smoking.


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