Since 1993, cigar use in the United States has increased by nearly 50 percent, according to the National Institutes of Health. This news is particularly troubling, as more and more scientific evidence links cigars with a variety of diseases, including lip, tongue, mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, and lung cancers.
Following are some facts you should know:
- Men who smoke three or more cigars a day have a 7.8-times-higher risk of getting lung cancer compared with nonsmokers.
- Cigar smokers who inhale deeply have 53 times the risk of cancer of the larynx, 27 times the risk of oral cancer, and 15 times the risk of esophageal cancer.
- Smoking just one to two cigars a day increases the risk of developing cancer of the larynx by more than six times that of a nonsmoker.
- Smoking one to two cigars a day doubles the risk for oral cancers and esophageal cancer.
- Cigar smokers have higher death rates from heart and lung disease than nonsmokers.
- Cigar smokers may spend up to an hour smoking a single large cigar which can contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes.
- Cigars are a major source of secondhand smoke, which contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including 200 poisons and carcinogens.
Sources: National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association