December 09, 2013

Cigar Smoking and Cancer

Cigarettes vs Cigars

Cigarette smoking causes cancer.  Is it the same for cigar smoking?  Cigars are composed usually of a single type of tobacco, rather than a blend, which is air-cured and fermented.  While a cigarette contains less than one gram of tobacco, a cigar can have up to 20 grams of tobacco.  The National Cancer Institute has established that cigars:
  • have a higher level of cancer-causing substances (nitrosamines) than cigarettes
  • have more tar, for every gram of tobacco smoked
  • have a higher level of toxins, because the wrapper is nonporous and the burning of the tobacco is less complete, resulting in higher concentrations of toxins

Cigars Causes Cancer

Cigars cause cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus and lung.  It may also cause cancer of the pancreas.  Daily smokers, particularly those who inhale, are at increased risk for developing heart disease.
Even if smoke is not inhaled, high levels of nicotine are absorbed through the lining of the mouth.  Since a single cigar can potentially provide as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, cigars are addictive.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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