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Key Facts About Cigars And Their Health Risks

Despite the cultural allure of cigars, they still hold some health risks that should be noted. Many cigar smokers associate cigars with sophistication and relaxation, however just like any other tobacco product they still are damaging to the body. There is a common misconception that because cigars aren’t inhaled they are less dangerous than cigarettes and other tobacco substances but they still do have carcinogens and toxic chemical properties. Cigars actually contain the same toxic chemicals found in cigarettes and are not safe. Smoking cigars raises the risk of certain cancers of the larynx, lungs, oral cavities, and cardiovascular disease. Cigar smokers who smoke heavily raise their risk of COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


  • There are three main types of cigars sold in the U.S.—large cigars, cigarillos and little cigars. In 2015, large cigars and cigarillos made up 95% of the market share in the U.S., with little cigars making up only 5%.
  • A single large cigar can contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes.
  • In 2017, about half (49.3%) of cigar smoking youth used flavored cigars.3 Flavors mask tobacco’s natural harshness and taste.
  • Cigar smoking has many similar consequences as cigarette smoking, including four to 10 times the risk of dying from oral, esophageal or laryngeal cancer in comparison to non-smokers.
  • Since 2001, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has required all cigar packages and advertisements to include warnings about the significant health risks associated with cigar use.
  • For tobacco tax purposes, cigars are defined differently than cigarettes, which leads to state taxes on cigars often being significantly less than taxes on cigarettes.


Due to the harm tobacco can cause to the body it is important to not smoke. Smoking raises the risk of cancers, COPD, and cardiovascular disease and is one of the leading causes of worldwide deaths. Do not hesitate to reach out to your health care provider to ask about cessation treatments if you struggle with tobacco addiction. Quitting smoking will greatly improve your health and well-being.



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