Cigar and pipe smokers often shake off concerns that smoking is harmful to their health. They argue that their habit is safe and claim that cigars and pipes are “in some way” safer than cigarettes. But in fact, cigars and pipes have the same risks and in some cases even carry bigger risks than cigarettes.
Cigarettes differ in design from cigars, which are made from rolled tobacco leaves. Cigarettes are made from processed tobacco wrapped in special type of paper. Unlike cigarettes, cigars do not have filters. While in pipes, the tobacco is placed in a bowl that sits at the end, and a stem attaches it to the mouthpiece, a filter may be attached though. Another type is the water pipe or hookah which has its roots in the ancient India and Persia some 400 years ago. It has a body filled with water, a bowl where fragrant tobaccos are placed, and a tube which attaches the body to the mouthpiece.
They are as risky as cigarettes.
Pipe and cigar smokers often claim that they don’t get the same risks as cigarette smokers because they don’t inhale and smoke only once or twice a day. There are also random claims that cigars and pipes are not addictive. However, research says otherwise. Pipe and cigar smoking in any way is as harmful as cigarette smoking, and in some cases, are even more dangerous.
A large cigar contains not less than half an ounce of tobacco – the same amount of tobacco in a pack of cigarettes. One stick of cigar also contains 100-200mg of nicotine, compared to 8mg of nicotine in a cigarette. This nicotine in cigars is enough to trigger nicotine cravings just by smoking a few in a week. This, however, doesn’t mean that cigarettes are safer in any way. They pose the same threat to your health.
The Impact of Pipes and Cigars to Your Health
Below are some of the harmful effects of pipes and cigars:
While it’s true that you don’t inhale, you are still at risk of cancers from smoking cigars and pipes. In fact, people who regularly smoke cigars are 4 to 10 times more at risk of cancers of the mouth, and larynx, compared to non-smokers. Oral cancer develops anywhere tobacco smoke touches. This includes your lips, mouth, tongue, and throat. Inhaling tobacco smoke also increases the risk of lung, pancreatic, and bladder cancer.
Pipe and cigar smokers are twice at risk of airway damage that can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It can also worsen your asthma.
Cigar smoking alone increases your risk of coronary heart disease up to 30%. Pipes and cigars boost your chances of having a stroke or heart disease.
Tobacco in whatever form is harmful to your health. Cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking is dangerous to your health and increases the chance of early death. Quitting the use of these tobacco products as early as possible help lessen the impact of nicotine to your health.