Chances are you know someone who likes to smoke a cigar every once in a while. Unlike cigarettes, cigars have long been considered an expensive luxury. Unfortunately, no matter how “classy” cigar smoking may seem, it comes with a price — oral health problems.
How Cigars Can Ruin Your Smile
More than 75% of people diagnosed with oral cancer after age 50 use or have used tobacco. Regular cigar smokers also increase their risk for other serious oral health problems.
- Cigar smokers are 4 to 10 times more likely to die from cancers of the mouth, esophagus and larynx than non-smokers.
- They often have badly stained teeth and chronic bad breath.
- Smoking cigars triples their rate of developing moderate to severe gum disease.
- On average, cigar smokers have four missing teeth.
Cigars Have More Tobacco Than Cigarettes
While cigarette tobacco is wrapped in paper, cigar tobacco is wrapped in actual tobacco — a tobacco leaf. A large cigar can contain as much tobacco as a pack of cigarettes. Because nicotine in cigar smoke is absorbed through tissues lining the mouth, cigars can be addictive – even when the smoke is not inhaled.
In addition to cancer and gum disease, cigar smoking may increase the risk of heart disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Because they contain the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds as cigarettes, cigars can be very dangerous to your oral and overall health. When you quit smoking, your mouth and body will start to heal and you can lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and more.
The Tennessee Tobacco Quitline is FREE support through counseling, nicotine patches and gum, and other services to help you or those you love to quit any tobacco for good.