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The Truth About Smoking Cigars Whether You Inhale or Not

According to the American Cancer Society, studies show that cigars are just as bad for you as cigarettes.

Researchers found that cancer risks increased dramatically for those who smoke three cigars daily, and even more for those who inhale when they light up.

The study also shows that cigars themselves are changing. “PH levels of cigars are indeed changing,” says Eric Jacobs, study author and researcher for the Cancer Society’s department of epidemiology and surveillance research. “While the pH of cigars has always been higher than cigarettes, pH varies greatly between cigar types. Higher pH levels mean the smoke may contain more free ammonia, and while it’s more difficult to inhale, the nicotine absorption rate is substantially higher.”

What Are the Risks of Smoking Cigars?

  • A 500 percent increase in lung cancer for inhalers and a 300 percent increase for non-inhaling cigar smokers.
  • A 1,000 percent increase in cancer of the larynx.
  • A 400 percent increase in cancer of the oral cavity/pharynx.
  • A 270 percent increase in pancreatic cancer for inhalers.
  • A 360 percent increase in bladder cancer for inhalers.

Smoking a Cigar“The take home message from all this is that cigar smoking is much more lethal than we ever believed,” Jacobs said. “Whether you light up or not, whether you inhale or not, cigars carry the same risks that cigarettes do.” He adds, “Cigar smoking is not cool or glamorous. It can kill you.”

And the secondhand smoke is just as dangerous.

Click to learn more about > American Cancer Society.