Cigarettes are unequivocally bad for you. You can get addicted, and eventually get cancer, and die. But cigars are safer, right?
Nope. Turns out they might actually be worse for you. A new study shows that some popular cigar brands actually contain as much, if not more nicotine than cigarettes.
Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine analyzed the amount of nicotine in smoke from popular small cigars- the ones that are basically cigarettes, except they are wrapped in tobacco leaf.
This goes against the public perception that these cigars aren’t as harmful as cigarettes, a perception that stems in part from the way that tobacco companies market the products.
They use loopholes that allow them to sell cigars that are flavoured, as well as avoiding the significant tax that comes with cigarettes, so they are much cheaper.
The study used a smoking machine in the laboratory to pull smoke from eight common brands of small cigar and compared it to two brands of cigarettes commonly used in research. They then extracted and measured the nicotine.
The researchers say measuring the nicotine is important because it’s the drug that drives addiction. They say that the cigars are basically cigarettes and should be treated as such.
Future research will look at the amount of other toxins in the cigar smoke.