The Dangers of Cigars and Cigarillos

July 2, 2021

Did you know that one cigar has as much nicotine as almost three packs of cigarettes? 1 While cigarette smoking has decreased, cigar smoking has increased in recent years. Between 2000 and 2006, cigarette consumption declined nationally by 13 percent, and cigar smoking increased by more than 37 percent. 2

The tobacco industry has attracted youth to cigars; in particular, by promoting “little cigars” that were often candy- or fruit-flavored to hide the unpleasant flavor of tobacco and increase the odds of addiction. They would sometimes place them within a child’s reach near candy.

Cigar smoking has become popular in recent years. Some people falsely believe that smoking cigars does not pose the same health dangers as smoking cigarettes. But cigars can cause negative health effects just like cigarettes. In fact, cigars can contain up to 70 times as much nicotine as cigarettes3 which is absorbed whether or not the smoke is inhaled.

Cigar smokers are four to 10 times more likely to die than nonsmokers from3:

  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Oral cancer
  • Esophageal cancer

References renameme

  1. 1998 National Cancer Institute Monograph 9: Cigars: Health Effects and Trends.
  2. USDA Economic Research Service, Tobacco Briefing Room, Tables 1 and 3, April 2007
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA, 2004. Ockene I.S., Miller, N., Cigarette Smoking, Cardiovascular Disease, and Stroke: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association. Circulation 1997;96(9):3243–3247. Henningfield, J. E., Fant, R. V., et al., "Nicotine concentration, smoke pH and whole tobacco aqueous pH of some cigar brands and types popular in the United States" Nicotine & Tobacco Research 1(2): 163-168.