Posted on Sun, May. 15, 2005

Even if you don't inhale, cigars aren't healthier than cigarettes

Despite the cigar-smokers-don't-inhale argument, there's no safe level of second-hand smoke, according to Patrick Reynolds, president of Los Angeles-based Foundation for a Smoke Free America and grandson of R.J. Reynolds, the tobacco company founder.

Second-hand smoke can cause lung cancer or heart disease, Reynolds said.

Cigar smokers may also be exposed to a slew of other cancers including mouth cancer, throat cancer and cancer of the gums.

Cigars don't carry the same health warnings as cigarettes and chewing tobacco, but can have more nicotine and tar, and can produce 30 times more carbon monoxide, Reynolds said.

"Nicotine in cigars is just as addictive, whether you get it from cigarettes or cigars," Reynolds said.

Smoke Free America is a nonprofit group that encourages tobacco-free youth and tobacco prevention. Its Web site is

Dana Sanchez

2005 Bradenton Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.