Smoking cigars may be just as harmful to your health as smoking cigarettes.
A new study published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention claims that smoking cigars may be as harmful as smoking regular cigarettes.
Epidemiologist in the Office of Science at the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products and team leader of the study, Dr. Jiping Chen said their discoveries showed that smokers of cigars reported higher levels of toxic substances in their bodies than people who don’t smoke at all.
Besides this, people who smoke cigars had a particular carcinogen in levels comparable to the ones found in the bodies of cigarette smokers. Many people believe cigar smoking is less harmful to health than cigarette smoking despite the fact that cigars may contain the same amount of toxic substances. This belief is due to smokers being less likely to inhale cigar smoke.
The National Cancer Institute claims that cigar smokers have a lower risk of developing cancer related to smoking, such as heart diseases and lung cancer, than cigarette smokers. However, it also notes that the rates of such diseases are higher in cigar smokers than in those who don’t smoke.
With the help of data from the National Health Nutrition and Examination Survey from the years 1999 through 2012 the scientists studied 25,522 people for the existence of five materials in the urine or blood linked to tobacco usage.
Two of these substances; 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol(NNAL) and cotinine are found only in tobacco. The other three substances; arsenic, cadmium and lead can also be found in environmental sources along with tobacco.
The analysis results showed that cigar smokers had higher levels of cadmium and cotinine in the blood and NNAL in the urine compared to non-smokers.
Cotinine is a compound caused by nicotine after it enters the body and is categorized as the best measurement of the exposure to tobacco. Cadmium is a compound associated to several health conditions, such as respiratory diseases, kidney diseases and inflammation. NNAL is a powerful carcinogen.
The cigar smokers who used to smoke regular cigarettes had higher NNAL and cotinine levels than people who only smoked cigars. The researchers believe former smokers of cigarettes are more likely to inhale the smoke coming from a cigar.
Scientists also found that people who smoke cigars daily had NNAL concentrations in the urine similar with that of cigarette smokers on a daily basis.