No one is a stranger to cigar smoke and the dangers of breathing in second hand smoke. Many often wonder if inhaling cigar smoke is just as risky or more son. The truth is, being exposed to any type of secondhand smoke regardless of it’s from a cigar or cigarette is dangerous.
Any secondhand smoke that comes from a tobacco product can be classified as environmentally dangerous tobacco smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke includes all secondhand smoke coming from lit tobacco products including cigars and cigarettes. Smoke emitted from either cigars or cigarettes contains a lot of the same harmful irritants. Smoke from both cigars and cigarettes are full of nicotine, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia. Environmental tobacco smoke also contains carcinogens like vinyl chlorine, benzene, arsenic, hydrocarbons, and nitrosamines. Since cigars are larger than most cigarettes, they tend to produce and release more environmental tobacco smoke into the air. That being said, hanging around cigar smoke can be more of a risk to one’s health than breathing in cigarette’s secondhand smoke.
Although cigars and cigarettes emit the same environmental tobacco smoke, there are some differences between the two that are worth noting. The differences have much to do with the different ways the two products are manufactured. Cigars go through a long fermentation and aging process during their production. It is during this long process the huge levels of carcinogens are produced. After the completed fermentation and aging stage, the cigar is wrapped tightly in a nonporous wrapper keeping the cigar from burning too fast. It is the fermentation process and the nonporous wrappers which are the largest contributing factors in the high concentration of carcinogens released in the smoke. It is not until the cigar is lit that those carcinogens are released into the air. The nonporous wrapper is a large factor in the unclean burn of the cigar.
Cigars also produce large amounts of carcinogens because of their size. Cigars are larger than cigarettes in girth. Cigar size gives them the ability to release a lot more smoke, toxins, and irritants. Cigars are made for relaxing and taking the time to enjoy the cigar, rather than cigarettes which are often sucked down in a matter of minutes. The longer smoke time needed for cigars leads to larger quantities of smoke. Non-smokers should avoid the places where cigars are smoked. If you choose to smoke cigars, always make sure you are in a well-ventilated or windowed area.