For the lowest levels of tar and nicotine, are cigars and cigarillos preferable?


Cigars and cigarillos are not preferable to cigarettes when it comes to levels of tar and nicotine. The smoke from all these smoking products contains dangerous levels of cancer-causing chemicals. Cigars in fact have a greater level of tar than do cigarettes and a higher level of chemicals that cause cancer.

Cigars and cigarillos are both made the same way, each using a single type of fermented tobacco and wrapped in tobacco. This is in contrast to cigarettes, which use a blend of unfermented tobacco and are wrapped in paper. Cigars, however, contain 1 to 20 grams of tobacco, in contrast to cigarettes, which contain less than 1 gram per cigarette. Cigarillos are simply smaller versions of cigars, containing approximately 3 grams of tobacco each. A greater amount of tobacco means cigars and cigarillos possess a greater level of nicotine. One cigar can contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. In addition, the fermentation of the tobacco used in cigars creates a dangerously high level of cancerous nitrosamines. Because cigar wrappers are less porous than cigarette papers, cigar smokers receive a higher level of toxins than do cigarette smokers, including cadmium, carbon monoxide, ammonia and hydrocarbons. All tobacco smokers of should try nicotine replacement therapy or some other method of quitting smoking as soon as possible to protect their health and the health of the people around them.

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