The majority of people who only smoke commercial cigars do not inhale.
- Commercial cigars are usually made from a single type of tobacco. Commercial cigarettes are made from different blends of tobacco.
- Commercial cigars are available in different sizes and shapes. Large cigars can take one to two hours to smoke.
- Commercial cigars go through a long process of fermentation. Many harmful chemicals are produced during this time.
- Commercial cigar smoke has higher levels of toxins and irritants than commercial cigarette smoke.
- Commercial cigar smokers who smoke or used to smoke commercial cigarettes are more likely to inhale. These people have increased health risks.
- About 75 percent of commercial cigar smokers smoke occasionally, rather than daily.
- Unlike commercial cigarettes, most commercial cigars do not have a tip or filter. As a result, the commercial cigar is in direct contact with the lips, tongue and mouth. When saliva mixes with the tobacco, nicotine and other chemicals are released. This process is similar to spit tobacco.
Commercial Cigars and Health Risks
- There are many health risks associated with commercial cigar smoking. Commercial cigar smokers who smoke daily and inhale have greater exposure and increased health risks.
- People who smoke commercial cigars have increased risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, voice box, lung and esophagus.
- People who smoke commercial cigars daily have an increased risk for heart disease and chronic lung disease.
- Holding an unlit commercial cigar between your lips exposes the mouth, throat and esophagus to cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins.
Commercial Cigars and Nicotine Addiction
- The nicotine content of commercial cigars varies and is not based only on the size of the commercial cigar.
- The amount of nicotine absorbed also varies and may depend on
- if smoking the first part or last part of the commercial cigar
- if the commercial cigar has a filter or tip
- if the person inhales smoke into the lungs
- Nicotine from commercial cigars is delivered in several ways:
- when smoke is inhaled into lungs
- when smoke that is not inhaled is absorbed by the lining of the mouth and nose
- when an unlit commercial cigar is held between the lips, allowing saliva to mix with the tobacco
Quitting Commercial Cigars
- Quit methods used for quitting commercial cigarettes may be helpful for quitting commercial cigars.
- Quit smoking medicines have not been approved for commercial cigars.
National Cancer Institute, Smoking and Tobacco Control Monographs, Number 9: Cigars: Health Effects and Trends; available at: http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/monographs/9/index.html.
Fiore MC, Jaén CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. May 2008.