Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Smoking and Tobacco

Cigars vs. Cigarettes

03/06/2000

Question:

Is cigar smoking more hazardous to your health than cigarette smoking? Also, there is a lot of discussion about the tobacco that is in cigars and cigarettes, but what about the paper that they are wrapped in? Is that a contributing factor to bad health like the tobacco is? I`m starting a research paper and so far, I haven`t found any useful information. Thank you.

Answer:

The National Cancer Institute published a monograph entitled Cigars: Health Effects and Trends which provides details on the type of tobacco and associated risks of cigar smoking. It is available at http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/monographs/9/index.html or can be ordered by phone at 1-800-4-CANCER. Several conclusions of that report are that cigar smoke contains the same carcinogenic compounds that are in cigarette smoke, and cigar smoke tar in animal studies appears to be at least as carcinogenic as cigarette smoke tar. The differences in exposure and disease are related to different patterns of use with non-daily use and less inhalation among cigar smokers - and not the composition of the smoke. The amount of nicotine available in cigars is generally higher than that available in cigarettes. For example, in mainstream smoke there is about 3 mg of nicotine/gram of tobacco smoked in cigars compared to 0.6 to 1.4 mg/gram of tobacco smoked in cigarettes. Cigars have also been identified as increasing the risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and coronary heart disease compared to nonsmokers and the risk increased with greater smoking (New England J of Medicine, June, 1999, p. 1773-80).

Related Resources:

Cigars: Health Effects and Trends

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor, College of Nursing
Professor, College of Public Health
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University