Q: I like to live healthy but also enjoy smoking cigars. Is this terrible?
A: Regular cigar smoking increases your risk for many cancers, including: Cancer of the lungs, lips, esophagus, oral cavity and larynx.
Studies have shown that regular cigar smokers are 4 to 10 times more likely to die from cancers of the mouth, larynx and esophagus than nonsmokers. For those who inhale, cigar smoking appears to be linked to death from cancer of the pancreas and bladder, too.
How you smoke and how much you smoke are both important. Cigar smokers might spend an hour smoking one large cigar that can contain as much tobacco as a pack of cigarettes. Smoking more cigars each day or inhaling cigar smoke leads to more exposure and higher risks. The health risks linked to occasional cigar smoking (less than daily) are less clear.
According to an American Cancer Society study, cigar smokers who inhale have 11 times greater risk of death from lung cancer than nonsmokers. This study also found that cigar smokers who inhale are at increased risk for other types of cancer, too.
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