Cigars are bigger than cigarettes, and are mainly composed of just one kind of tobacco – fermented and air-cured, and come encased in a tobacco wrapper. These can be of various sizes and shapes – Large cigars, Cigarillos or Little cigars – and can contain between 1 and 20 grams of tobacco. It is often said that these are better to smoke as compared to cigarettes, pipes and other smoking units. Some doctors will even say that smoking can have worse health risks than obesity!
Presence of nicotine
Just like cigarettes, Cigars have nicotine – an addictive substance that could result in dependence on tobacco. The amount of nicotine in just one full-size cigar is about as much as in one whole pack of cigarettes. When you draw on a cigar, the amount of nicotine entering your lungs is as much as one entire pack of cigarettes or even more. Even when you are not exactly inhaling, a huge amount of nicotine can get absorbed through your mouth’s lining.
Cancer-causing substances are present in cigars in higher amounts. There is production of high concentrations of nitrosamines, a type of cancer-causing substance, at the time when cigar tobacco is fermented. When you smoke a cigar, there is release of nitrosamines. You can find nitrosamines in much higher amounts in cigar smoke as compared cigarette smoke.
Higher amount of tar
Tar is present in more amounts in cigars. In every gram of cigar tobacco that you smoke, you draw in more of cancer-causing tar as compared to what is present in cigarettes.
When compared to cigarette wrappers, the wrappers of cigars happen to be less porous. Due to this reason, the burning of tobacco in cigar is less complete as compared to the combustion of cigarette tobacco. Thus, the concentration of toxins is higher in cigar smoke than in cigarette smoke.
In case of cigars, secondhand smoke has the same amount of toxic chemicals as in secondhand cigarette smoke. Such kind of smoke can contribute to or even lead to heart disease and lung cancer. It also raises the severity or risk of lower and upper respiratory infections in kids, ear infections and childhood asthma.
To conclude, no type of smoking is ‘good’. However, there are some beneficial effects of smoking cigars indeed – such as getting relief from Ulcerative Colitis, reduced risks of Parkinson’s disease, lowering of body weight etc. The call is yours.