If you are asking yourself: Are cigarillos safer than cigarettes, the answer is that all smoking is bad for your health and the health of those around you. Is the risk significantly less with cigarillos? Not according to most medical authorities.
Smoking tobacco is considered the cause of more preventable deaths than any other activity worldwide. Because cigarillos are not meant to be inhaled, and because those who smoke them may smoke fewer a day than if they were using cigarettes, many believe that they are less dangerous. Research and statistics of death and disease do not support this belief.
Cigarillos are small, machine rolled cigars. They contain about three times the amount of tobacco in a cigarette and are rolled in a whole leaf rather than paper. They are smaller in length and diameter than cigars. The term means ‘little cigar’ in most countries, although in some Spanish-speaking nations and in the Philippines, the word is used for cigarettes. Many choose to smoke them when their period of leisure is too short to savor a full-size cigar.
Just as with cigars, those who do not inhale hold the smoke in their mouths to savor the taste, and others do inhale the smoke into their lungs as they would do with cigarettes. Smoke from any burning organic material is harmful, and there are over nineteen known carcinogens in burning tobacco. Second-hand smoke from cigars is said to be even more dangerous than that of cigarettes, and the carbon monoxide content of the smoke is higher. As smoke is drawn into the body, many toxins enter the bloodstream and are carried to all organs.
The nicotine in tobacco is very addictive, even more so than heroin. Those who smoke even for a short time may have great difficulty in breaking the habit, and many who would like to quit are unable to do so. Even when nicotine is supplied in other forms, the act of smoking is hard to give up. Becoming addicted is one of the dangers of smoking both cigarillos and cigarettes.
Smoking is judged to be the most serious threat to health in the world today, as it is credited with causing the most preventable deaths. It increases all health risks, particularly for lung and heart conditions and for various kinds of cancer. Even if you don’t inhale, the risks of mouth, esophageal, and larynx cancer are greatly increased. Many know the dangers of emphysema, COPD, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and cancer, but smoking and second hand smoke contribute to low birth weight in infants, an increased incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and greater risk of miscarriage and premature birth. In men, it causes erectile dysfunction and impotence.
These dangers are not lessened when cigarillos are chosen over cigarettes. Insurance rates are higher for smokers no matter what kind of tobacco they use. Doctors agree that smoking tobacco is bad for almost every bodily system. There is no one product that makes it safe to smoke.
Are cigarillos safer than cigarettes? The answer from health professionals is no. Neither the small size, the fact that they are wrapped in tobacco leaf rather than paper, the fact that they are not meant to be inhaled, nor the fact that they are not generally filtered makes them any less harmful.