If you think cigars are a safe alternative to cigarettes, think again. Here are the facts:

Quit now and help spread the word about the dangers of cigars:

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  • Cigars are less addictive than cigarettes.

    True  False
  • False. The average cigarette has around one milligram of nicotine in it, and cigars have much higher levels of nicotine—up to 400 milligrams in large cigars. This means one cigar a day may be enough to cause addictive changes in your brain cells.

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  • Cigars are safer than cigarettes because you don't inhale.

    True  False
  • False. Cigar smokers tend to hold the smoke in their mouth and throat, allowing nicotine and other chemical compounds to be absorbed through the lining of the mouth and throat, rather than inhaling it into their lungs. This increases cigars smokers’ risk of head or neck cancer instead of the lung cancer so common among cigarette smokers.

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  • Cigar smoke is sweet and therefore it must be less toxic than cigarette smoke.

    True  False
  • False. Because of the long aging and fermentation process for cigar leaves, the larger size of cigars and the nonporous wrappers, cigar smoke has 20 times more ammonia than cigarettes and 80 to 90 times the number of highly carcinogenic, tobacco-specific nitrosamines.

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  • It takes more than three hours for the smoke from one cigar to dissipate.

    True  False
  • True. The secondhand smoke from a single cigar can take five hours to dissipate. Secondhand cigar smoke contains the same 4,000 chemical compounds found in other tobacco products, including potent carcinogens!

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  • People who smoke one or two cigars per day are more likely to get cancer of the mouth and throat.

    True  False
  • True. People who smoke one or two cigars daily double their risk of oral and esophageal cancer over nonsmokers. Those who smoke three to four cigars a day increase their risk of oral cancers by eight times and esophageal cancers by four times.

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