Are cigars safer than cigarettes?

1You might think smoking cigars, especially mild cigars, is safer than smoking cigarettes. However, the experts say that’s not true. Cigars can be just as dangerous to your health as cigarettes.

Cancer risks

All smoke is a carcinogen and can cause lung cancer. Even if you are a cigar smoker who doesn’t inhale the smoke intentionally, it is impossible not to inhale some of it. You also pose a risk to those around, because secondhand cigar smoke is just as toxic as secondhand cigarette smoke.

Cigars also present a risk of oral cancer, just as cigarettes do. This includes cancers of the tongue, throat, mouth and lip. Some people like to chew on cigars, which removes the risk of lung cancer, but it heightens the risk of oral cancer. Cigars also are liked to other oral health problems, such as gum disease and tooth loss.

Other health risks

Cigar smoking is linked to many other health risks, just as cigarettes are. Smoking cigars increases your risk or heart disease and other lung diseases besides cancer, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The secondhand smoke from cigars also has been linked to diseases, especially in children, including asthma, ear infections and many respiratory infections. Because cigars often burn longer than cigarettes, they increase the amount of secondhand smoke that others are breathing in.

If you think you should switch from cigarettes to cigars because they might be healthier, think again. Cigars, even mild ones, contain tobacco and nicotine and carry all the same health risks as cigarettes.

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