1. Home

Health Benefits of Cigars

By August 5, 2008

Follow me on:

Is tobacco good for you or bad for you? This is a question that was thoroughly researched and answered by our very own expert in the field of toxicology; Dr. Mitch Fadem. Tobacco historically has been used as a medicine to treat a variety of conditions, and more recently, research has revealed an important connection to nicotine and increased brain function. If you want to learn about the medical benefits of cigars and tobacco, from past to present, make sure to read Dr. Fadem's entire two-page article about cigars and medicine.

Comments

August 7, 2008 at 5:00 pm
(1) Metalbass says:

Probably the best thing to do is not to smoke everyday. I like cigars, but I do understand that you’re breathing in smoke (even if you don’t inhale, you still breath in smoke) and that the supposed health benefits of smoking cigars is far outweighed by the bad stuff. You can’t slant anything a particular way with implied data.

August 9, 2008 at 9:19 am
(2) Mitch says:

Well, I can say from personal experience that my private physician will disagree with you. I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I asked that exact question of my doctor…’Is smoking cigars and drinking scotch bad for my health?’. His response was for me that the alcohol helped to thin my blood, the small amount of nicotine helped to increase blood flow to my brain and the overall point that I was relaxing while smoking helped to lower my blood pressure. Now remember, that was his medical advice to me personally not to everyone. Of course he added that diet and exercise will also do that but it is not nearly as enjoyable. The point of article was that I wanted everyone that reads it to look at tobacco in a different way. Yes, anything in excess is not good for you, even water. But for most of us, a stogie is a great way to relax. Thanks for your comments.

June 12, 2009 at 9:58 am
(3) John says:

I have read a lot about the effect of smoking cigars on health recently and am somewhat frustrated by the lack of consensus on just how harmful moderate cigar smoking really is.

The medical community seems to agree that daily cigar smoking (even just one a day) is bad for you. Just like with cigarettes, it’s a “dose-response” effect whereby more exposure to smoke increases your chances of acquiring a smoking-related disease such as COPD or lung cancer.

But if you consider that most cigar smokers do not smoke every day and don’t inhale, there must be some line we can draw to indicate minimal risk for most people. I’ve read in several places that one to two cigars per week is a good benchmark, but these are mostly just opinions, as there does not seem to be any published research evaluating the risks of occasional cigar smoking.

I do believe that some of the arguments proposed by cigar smokers are a little misleading. The one given here regarding how nicotine may help reduce Alzheimer’s disease is an example. While this may be true, the harmful effects of regular smoking on the lungs still far outweighs the benefits of reducing Alzheimers. You can easily administer nicotine without involving smoking, so if nicotine therapy will be used to treat Alzheimers, it will most likely be via a pill or a patch rather than a cigar.

Same goes for the “natural” argument, which states that quality cigars don’t have any additives. While the additives found in cigarettes may be harmful, it does not take away from the fact that combustion of even all-natural tobacco contains many carcinogens that cause lung disease.

I am particularly sensitive to these issues because I really do enjoy an occasional premium cigar. For me, “occasional” varies anywhere from one a month to three a week, depending on how busy I am, the weather, etc. I am also very concerned about the health risks because my father died of lung cancer at the age of 48. He was a pack-a-day cigarette smoker since he was a teenager. I am 35 and started smoking cigars a couple of years ago, but have kept it in moderation.

There is some evidence accumulating of inheriting a lung cancer gene that can significantly increase your chances of getting lung cancer, particularly if you smoke. I’ve read that while 15% of all smokers get lung cancer (just 1% of non-smokers do), smokers who have inherited the lung cancer gene could get lung cancer at a rate as high as a 25%.

So what does this mean for me if on average I smoke two cigars a month? As I mentioned before, I wish there was more data on occasional cigar smokers that would help me make a more informed choice about how risky I am being. For now, I feel like the risk of a couple cigars a month is minimal despite my family history. I also exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, and I drink a couple cups of green tea daily.

For now, I feel like I’m being practical about my vices and am making decisions that allow me to enjoy myself while not putting myself at substantial risk for disease. I hope that in the near future we learn more about the risks of occasional cigar smoking so that others like myself can better evaluate how our choices may be effecting our health.

August 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm
(4) charlie says:

i have high blood pressure. i check it reg at the pharmacy and i noticed my pressure def goes up after a few beers and a cigar. coincidence?maybe.

Leave a Comment


Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.