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Cigars: A Killer Trend

Cigars may be hip today, but they're just as dangerous as cigarettes.

Cigar bars, passing out cigars at weddings: They fell out of favor for a while but now they're back. Since there's no warning from the Surgeon General stamped on stogies (Congress didn't explicitly include them in the 1984 law requiring health warnings on cigarettes), the American Cancer Society has compiled a few facts to help snuff out some of the mystique.

  • Concentrations of tar and nicotine are much higher in cigars than cigarettes.
  • Exposure to secondhand cigar smoke carries the same risks as exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke.
  • Cigar smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to suffer from persistent coughs and phlegm and also face an increased risk of peptic ulcers.
  • Cigar smokers have four to 10 times the risk of dying from laryngeal, oral, and esophageal cancers as nonsmokers.

Doesn't seem so trendy now, does it? FYI, "bidis" (flavored cigarettes) and chewing tobacco -- which go in and out of favor, especially among teenagers -- are no less risky, and no less addictive, than any other kind of tobacco use.

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