If there is anything that modern medicine has been able to establish without any debate, it is that smoking tobacco products carries with it significant health risks. Tobacco cigarettes are the most commonly consumed products, with an estimated one billion people smoking in the world today. Inhaling tobacco smoke can cause cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure, among a variety of other negative side effects to your overall health. While the health risks of smoking cigars are still high, they can be far less than those of smoking regular cigarettes. If someone only smokes a few cigars per week and makes sure not to enhale the smoke, the negative health risks are not nearly as significant.
Can I overcome the health risks of smoking cigars?
While it seems like common sense that there are health risks to smoking cigars, some people believe that there may also be some small benefits to your health. Smoking tobacco has been around for a long time. Before scientists proved that smoking tobacco can be dangerous, it was used for medicinal purposes and in religious ceremonies. Of course we know that smoking any type of tobacco will not cure cancer, but some people who enjoy smoking cigars laud their benefits. Those benefits may include the relaxation affects you experience while smoking a cigar, which in turn will lower your blood pressure. Furthermore, if smoking cigars helps you relax, then you may also experience positive benefits to your mental health. For some people, tobacco is a form of weight control, although diet and exercise are more commonly accepted mechanisms for this in the scientific community. If you are really stretching to find some positive aspects of smoking cigars, consider this: cigar smoke is an effective way to repel insects like flies and mosquitoes.
What are the real health risks of smoking cigars?
Most people who smoke cigars do not inhale the smoke, and therefore believe that it is not dangerous. While it may be less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, there are still real health risks of smoking cigars. One reason is because of the nicotine. A full cigar contains as much of this addictive substance as several cigarettes. Even if you don’t inhale, you can still absorb it in your mouth. This could create nicotine dependence. Tobacco smoke also is carcinogenic. This means that you can still get mouth cancer, in addition to cancers in your throat, lips, tongue, and even in the lungs. If you smoke cigars regularly, you are still at risk for various types of heart disease as well. Finally, there are lots of dental and oral diseases that can be caused by smoking cigars, including tooth loss.
Should I quit because of the health risks of smoking cigars?
The medical answer to this question is yes, the health risks of smoking cigars are significant enough that you should quit. However, if you enjoy cigars in moderation, which means not smoking one every day, the health risks are significantly abated. There is relatively little research concerning the risks of occasionally smoking, so if you really want to continue and can tolerate the risks outline above, that is your call.