Cigars Are Just As Harmful As Cigarettes, Study Finds

It’s a no-brainer that cigarettes are bad for you. But it’s also commonly assumed that cigars, since they aren’t inhaled into the lungs, are a “healthier” option. Well, it’s time to put down that stogie and face reality — a new study shows smoking cigars can be just as harmful for your body as smoking cigarettes.The findings, reported on November 7 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, show that smoking cigars fills your body with a comparable amount of toxic, cancer-causing agents as cigarettes. Researchers examined blood and urine samples of over 25,000 Americans for the presence of five specific chemicals associated with tobacco exposure: cotinine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), lead, cadmium and arsenic. NNAL is a product formed in the body after NNK, a cancer-causing agent found only in tobacco, enters. Measuring NNAL, the Centers for Disease Control explains, is a way to measure how much NNK a person has been exposed to.The study findings revealed that those who smoked only cigars had higher lead, NNAL and cotinine concentrations than non-tobacco users. Those who smoked cigars AND had a history of cigarette use, and those who currently smoke both, had even higher cotinine and NNAL concentrations than those who stick to just cigars — which makes sense. And the NNAL concentrations in daily cigar smokers, they found, were comparable to those in daily cigarette smokers.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that according to results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 55.8 million people (21.3 percent of the population) were current cigarette smokers and 12.4 million (4.7 percent) were cigar smokers. In other words, this is a massive public health problem.Not only is smoking harmful for your body, but it’s also bad for your physical appearance — and sex life. Find out how kicking the habit can bring huge benefits to every aspect of your life and well-being here.Related Stories:Soda Ages Your Body As Quickly As CigarettesSecondhand Smoke Causes Weight GainAre Electronic Cigarettes Safe?

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