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What about secondhand cigar smoke?


Because cigars contain more tobacco than cigarettes, and because they often burn for
much longer, they give off greater amounts of secondhand smoke. This is also known as
environmental tobacco smoke
(ETS) or
passive smoke
. Secondhand smoke includes both
the smoke from the end of the burning cigar and the smoke exhaled by the smoker.
All tobacco smoke, whether from cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, is known to cause cancer.
In
general, secondhand smoke from cigars contains many of the same toxins (poisons)
and
carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) as cigarette smoke.
Some of the toxins and irritants in cigar smoke include:
Carbon monoxide
Nicotine
Hydrogen cyanide
Ammonia
Some agents that cause cancer (carcinogens) and can be found in cigar smoke include
:
Benzene
Aromatic amines (especially carcinogens such as 2-naphthylamine and 4-
aminobiphenyl)
Vinyl chloride
Ethylene oxide
Arsenic
Chromium
Cadmium
Nitrosamines
Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons
Volatile aldehydes (including formaldehyde)
Like all tobacco, cigars can also contain radioactive elements, which may add to t
he
cancer risk.
There are some differences between cigar and winston cigarette smoke, though. Thes
e differences
are due to the aging and fermenting of cigar tobacco and the fact that the cigar w
rapper is
not as porous as cigarette paper.
Cigar tobacco has a high concentration of nitrogen compounds (nitrates and nitrites)
.
When the fermented cigar tobacco is smoked, these compounds give off several
tobacco-
specific nitrosamines
(TSNAs), some of the most potent cancer-causing substances
known. Also, because the cigar wrapper is less porous, the tobacco doesn’t burn as
completely. The result is a higher concentration of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, car
bon
monoxide, and tar – all very harmful substances.