My girlfriend has been worried about my new hobby and fascination with cigars. She says she cares for my health, and is worried that cigar smoking might damage it. I love her, and wouldn’t do something that’s against her wishes. Perhaps the following can mitigate some of her fears:

So, what’s the real lowdown on cigars and health? Thoroughly and properly cured/fermented premium cigar tobacco may not have less nicotine and tars than cigarette (or cheap cigar and pipe) tobacco. Premium cigar tobacco, nonetheless, is virtually an all natural, organic product. If is usually treated with one application of a pesticide, but early in its growth cycle. In the factory, it may be fumigated to kill beetles, but this is done with a gas, not a powder or spray, and the gas dissipates when the chamber is opened. No artificial or chemical additives or curing/aging agents are used at any time in the processing cycles.

Cigarette tobacco, except for all-natural brands, contains a myriad of chemicals to affect burning rate, speed the aging process, preserve the tobacco during storage and suppress microbial and fungal growth. The effects of these chemicals on humans, especially when burned, are inestimable, but the cigarette mortality statistics tell the story: over 400,000 directly attributable deaths in 1995.

The big difference is that cigar smokers don’t inhale – not if they’re sane, anyway. The lungs don’t tolerate alkaline cigar smoke like acidic cigarette smoke, and we choke and sputter, eyes watering. The pleasure is in the taste and aroma. By not drawing smoke into the lungs and bronchial passages, you greatly reduce the area of tissue exposed to it. The mouth tissue exposed to cigar smoke is about 100 square centimeters (18 square inches). Compare this to the surface area of the lungs, with their tiny, highly absorptive air sacs (alveoli). This surface area is an amazing 50 square meters, which is 450 square feet — as big as the side of a barn. – Dale Scott’s Cigar Resource