As the State Building and Construction Trades Council prepares for the Roger Hamilton Memorial Tobacco Free-Off Golf Tournament on May 8, the subject of cigars arises. This is a tobacco free golf tournament, but cigar smoking on the golf course is so common that even those who don't smoke cigarettes will light up cigars while golfing. Most golfers say, "I don't inhale!" But is that really true?
The claim that cigar smokers don't inhale the smoke is so widespread that researchers have recently put it to the test. Two groups of volunteers were used in the study: current or past cigarette smokers; and those who had never smoked cigarettes. 100% of non-smokers and 58% of smokers stated that they never or rarely inhaled cigar smoke. The researchers developed a method for measuring the smoke inhaled into the lung. They were surprised to find:
Ø All the volunteers inhaled the smoke to some degree.
Ø Non-smokers actually inhaled more smoke than smokers.
Ø Not surprisingly, those cigarette smokers who admitted they inhale cigar smoke did have the highest amount of smoke in their lungs.
The researchers concluded that "all cigar smokers inhale smoke to some degree, and they tended to be unaware they were doing so."
The perception that cigar smoking is safer than smoking a cigarette is just plain wrong. Cigar use creates five times the risk for lung cancer, ten times the risk for cancer of the larynx, and four times the risk for oral/pharynx cancer. Studies like this continue to emphasize that cigars are not safe.
Source: The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 12/1/2002
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