Cigars vs. Cigarettes: Which is worse for Your Health?

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Most everyone knows about the health risks of smoking both cigars and cigarettes and the dangers of secondhand smoke. But which is worse? Do cigar smokers really have the advantage over cigarette smokers? The answer is much more complicated than anyone ever thought.

A Matter of Degree

Research from the National Cancer Institute indicates that the health risks posed by both cigarettes and cigars are strongly linked to frequency of use. That is, it’s not whether you smoke cigarettes or cigars, but how much and how often you consume them. Individuals who smoke cigarettes on a daily basis are at a greater risk of developing cancer than people who smoke the occasional cigar. That said, evidence indicates that cigars contain many more carcinogens than cigarettes. It also appears that cigar smoke is more toxic than cigarette secondhand smoke.
Much of this is due to the fact that cigars are bigger than cigarettes, and thus produce more smoke.