Is cigar smoking dangerous for your health?

“We have to admit that cigar smoking is harmful, as harmful if not more so than cigarettes. Contrary to what many cigar smokers believe, and me first, cigar smoking is not good for your health because it contains as many toxic components as the tobacco in cigarettes.”

Cigar making

The manufacture of a quality cigar is a true artisanal process. The tobacco is first handpicked leaf by leaf, then dried in the “casas de tabaco”. The leaves are then stacked to ferment.

They are finally assembled into bundles that are shipped to the manufacturers.

At the manufacturing plant, the tobacco leaves are rolled with exceptional dexterity by craftsmen and craftswomen who have also mastered the art of combining varied tobaccos to ensure a savoury burn.

Havana, for example, is a blend of five types of leaves. But this art does not eliminate the chemical components of the tobacco.

Cigar smoking and health: what science teaches us

Let’s face it, cigar smoking seems even more toxic than cigarette smoking. Why is that?

  1. Tobacco contains more than 7,000 chemical substances, many of which are carcinogenic (arsenic, ammonia, benzene, cadmium, hydrogen cyanide, tar, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide). Nicotine is not carcinogenic, but it is addictive.
    Source: Québec sans tabac.ca (French text only)
  2. Unlike cigarettes, cigar smoke is not filtered.
  3. The tobacco leaf that surrounds the cigar prevents the evaporation of the substances produced by combustion.
  4. The risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease increases with the number of cigars smoked.
  5. The risk of lung cancer is multiplied by three when cigar smokers inhale the smoke very deeply.
  6. The risk of developing cancer of the mouth, larynx and pharynx is multiplied by four when compared to a non-smoker, because cigar smokers keep the smoke in their mouth for a longer period of time.
  7. People who smoke 4 or more cigars a day are exposed to an amount of smoke equivalent to the smoke of 10 cigarettes.
  8. A large cigar smoked to 70% emits about 20 times more carbon monoxide and 5 times more particles than a cigarette smoked to 70%.
    Source: Nicorette and Journal des femmes (French text only)

Terry’s recommendations

Terry Pomerantz reminds us that cigar smoking is an art. If you are wondering how to smoke a Cuban cigar without danger to your health, know that you can reduce the risks, but you will not eliminate them.

Cigar smokers enjoy the smoke instead of inhaling it deeply as most cigarette smokers do.

They roll the smoke inside their mouth to savour its flavour, just like we do with a sip of good wine. We smoke cigars for their earthy taste, their aromas of chocolate and spices.

“Cigars should be consumed with moderation. Just like tasting a good wine, the best cigar brands are savored with art, simplicity and refinement.

Never forget that the cigar is toxic. So please, if you smoke cigars, do so in moderation, in a well-ventilated place, away from non-smokers and above all, away from children!” says Terry.

Is smoking a cigar a day bad for your health?

“Even tough I know that smoking cigars is just as bad for my health as smoking a cigarette, a cigar smoker like me will always know that moderation is always in good taste” confirms Terry Pomerantz.

Are cigars more damaging to the health than cigarettes?

Health experts confirm that smoking a cigar is no less dangerous than smoking a cigarette. In fact, cigars contain several toxic products like nitrates and ammonia. Smoking a cigar could even be more toxic than smoking a cigarette, given that it represents higher risks of mouth, pharynx and larynx cancers.

Is it dangerous to smoke a cigar?

Specialists say that from the moment you begin smoking a cigar everyday, you are taking risks with your health. A small cigar releases the same quantity of toxic substances as would 3 cigarettes, more or less.

Another study shows that people who smoke 4 cigars or more a day are exposed to the equivalent of smoke from 10 cigarettes. Even if you only smoke one cigar a week, you are still exposed to smoke that is equivalent to 2.5 cigarettes.

Moreover, the cigar smoker is not the only one to be exposed to the smoke; all people in their surroundings are also exposed to second hand smoke.

Just like Terry Pomerantz, you should be aware that smoking cigars poses some risks to your health.

Minimizing risks and enjoying your cigars

In fact, the less often you smoke a cigar, the better it is for your health and… for your enjoyment!

To really appreciate a cigar, you need time. Time to appreciate the smoothness and color of the wrapper leaf, time to light it properly, time to truly enjoy the first puffs of smoke, time to allow all of the flavors to develop in your mouth and to taste all of the nuances and tobacco aromas.

“I don’t think you can truly appreciate a cigar if you smoke it mechanically, out of habit. Really enjoying a cigar takes time. Just like for a good wine, moderation is always more tasteful!”, concludes Terry Pomerantz.

Let’s add that in his book Mythologies, the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss quotes a First Nation legend: “God sent them tobacco to replace Him among men. When they smoke, Indians speak with God.”

A cigar enthusiast, Terry Pomerantz shares his expert advice on the different brands, types of cigars, and essential accessories to have. Immerse yourself in his recommendations to magnify your experience with each cigar, which you can enjoy in good company, an invitation to take the time to live each moment to the full.