Cigar-Smoking Without Inhaling: Still Presents Risks

cigarIn the early to mid 1990’s, many of us recall that over 40 states filed lawsuits against the tobacco industry and won. The dangers of tobacco use were substantiated. However, since then, tobacco use in other forms have been “enjoyed” by the public with thoughts that these other forms were less of a danger. The FDA Center for Tobacco Products over a year ago performed a review of research on this very subject.

The FDA found that current cigar smokers with no prior history of tobacco use were found to have a “higher risk of developing oral cancer, coronary heart disease, cancer of the esophagus, larynx, lung and pancreas, and increased risk of death from all causes.” This review of research included the findings of 22 epidemiological studies.

The review also showed that all forms of cigars carry this increased health risk. They found that free nicotine can be taken up by the mucosal surfaces of the mouth; hence, inhalation is not the only manner to obtain the nicotine-related health risks. The tobacco industry has come up with many forms of cigars, including small cigars (cigarillos), flavored cigars, and even filtered cigars which are marketed as being inhalable; all these forms are unregulated and carry this increased health risk.

With this risk, teens and young adults are those targeted by the tobacco industry for buying these products. We must spread the word on the risks of this tobacco use along with all other forms of tobacco use. None of it is safe and they all carry increased health risks, as identified above.

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