Cigar Smoking vs. Health Concerns


First of all let me premise this thread with a pre-apology if I'm beating a dead horse here on CS that's been covered ad infinitum. However, being fairly new to the jungle and the world of cigar smoking; and being a 55 y.o. male who is somewhat fanatical about maintaining good health I was hoping for some feedback, input, thoughts from some fellow Gorillas.

I became a more devoted cigar smoker about April of this year, however I only smoke 3-5 cigars a week, primarily Thurs.-Sun. Never smoked cigarettes and prior to April would smoke about 8-12 cigars per year.

Overall for a 55 y.o. I maintain fairly good health being 6' and 190 lbs. (same weight I was in high school). I work out 7 days per week, including 2-3 days of 90 min weight training sessions. I do a 25 - 45 min cardio workout on a Nordic Trac skier everday. I eat a fairly healthy diet, take supplements, drink maybe 8 -12 beers per week. For some reason (familial?) I suffer from moderate high blood pressue which I takes meds for.

I REALLY enjoy the cigars! I find the experience of smoking very relaxing and love the variety of the flavors of different smokes. However, everytime I light up I cannot help but be concerned if I'm going to end up regretting taking up the hobby ending up with a health issue as a result. I really do not find a whole lot of solace in the old fallbacks that cigar smoking is good for your general being because you are relaxing. Not sure if 1-2 hours of relaxing will outweigh any cellular/organ damage that the smoking of cigars may cause. Also, the fact that George Burns, Milton Berle, Groucho Marx, etc lived until old age and were heavy, long term cigar smokers probably only means that they were high profile, cigar smoking celebs that were lucky. I have a hunch that there are plenty of "average Joe" cigar smokers out there who have encountered serious health issues as a result of this hobby.

Was hoping some of you out there, being new to the hobby or long term vets, may have some thoughts, experiences, concerns of your own to share on this topic.

Thanks to all and stay well out there!!! :tu


Young Ape
Something is going to kill you. It probably isn't going to be cigars. The studies that I have seen only find links to health problems after two large cigars a day. Even then, you are talking about doubling your risk of acquiring a very rare form of cancer or something else. So if it is really rare to begin with, doubling your chance isn't making it all that likely you are going to acquire it still.

It is awesome you are in such great health. You obviously work very hard to stay in shape. I wish I could say I weigh what I did in highschool, but I would be lying by 60 pounds or so. But I guess I think you need to lighten up a bit. Smoking a cigar is supposed to be relaxing, and whether you put much stock in it or not, I think there is real value in the stress relief it can provide. Stress is a linked to heart trouble just as red meat and saturated fats are. Reduced stress is therefore a health benefit.

Relax. Enjoy your hobby. And don't fret so much about the consequences. If you can't, I would give it up. What fun is it if it stresses you out? Just my :2


Young Ape
I did lots and lots of reading about this when I took up smoking cigars. Unfortunately there are not a lot of cigar-specific studies out there, since the concern is so predominantly regarding cigarettes.

What I did find, though, is that pipes and cigars are nowhere near as dangerous as cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Since you are not inhaling the smoke, it is not going to do much besides make your breath smell terrible and turn your teeth yellow. If you can live with that, you are probably not going to see any more from smoking cigars than that.

That was the conclusion I drew, at least. I would be interested to hear what others have found.


To be honest, I don't worry about it. I find cigars to be relaxing. You could be killed by a drunk driver tomorrow. Life is short, make the most out of it.


Alpha Silverback
I Personally don't think smoking a few cigars a week will have any noticeable affect on your over all health. I smoke about 7 or 8 Cigars a week and some times more.I have a stressful job ( OTR Truck Driver ) and Cigars really help me relax and unwind.I Think if you do things in moderation you generally won't have any problems.

P.S The next time I'm in St Augustine we should get a Herf Going,Get some of the guys from NE Florida together. Joe


Young Ape
Fear of the big C is the single factor that stops me from smoking more. I'm a young guy, 28, and that fear in the back of my mind of a lifetimes accumulation of cigar smoke prevents me from more than a few a week.

That said, being a fat-ass is much more likely to shorten my life. So light up! :ss


Maturing Primate
To be honest, the stress of you worrying about health problems is probably more damaging to you than the few cigars you smoke a week. I too only smoke a few a week, mostly on the weekend. I too won't go crazy with it and smoke daily because I would then be concerned. However, like everyone else said... everything I've read shows concern regarding smoking daily, and a few a day. I used to smoke cigarettes for 3 1/2 years but quit over 10 years ago. I can tell you cigarettes are FAR worse. They way they make you feel, the way they make you need to light up first thing in the morning, right after a meal, right after getting off the train. None of these things do I experience with cigars.

Anyhow, I don't know what anyone can say to make you stop worrying. You will have to relax your own mind by making the choice, stay with it and relax, or abandon it out of fear. But like everyone says, anything can kill you! Every day there's a new report, "Eating with plastic spoons may be hazardous due to the chemicals in the plastic!". "Eating eggs is bad for your health!" "Eating eggs is good for your health!" blah blah blah. I'm so tired of all the changing information, what one day is bad for you is found the next to not be.

Enjoy life, but as with all things moderate yourself. Find your comfortability level and stick to it.



Admiral Douche Bag
To be honest, the stress of you worrying about health problems is probably more damaging to you than the few cigars you smoke a week.

I would tend to agree with that statement.

Staff Sergeant Barnes: "We all gotta die sometime, Red".


Young Ape
Something is going to kill you. It probably isn't going to be cigars.

I agree. Everything causes cancer or negatively affects health. According to now common logic, smoking is a cancer causing agent as well as a precursor to heart problems. The thing you have to look at however, is not the fact you are smoking chemical-less tobacco (unlike cigarrettes), but the fact that you do so much to improve your health. General health is like an old school balance scale. One side is good, the other bad. You do things to benefit your health, which cause the scale to tip towards a healthy life. You also engage in activities that negatively affect your health, which causes the scale to lean back towards an unhealthy life. The key to this is learning how to balance good choices with the bad. Obviously, having an excessively unhealthy lifestyle will lead to any early death. But having healthy practices and lifestyle choices can lengthen your lifespan. Ultimately though, the key to having insight into your lifespan and other life-risk factors is your family history and genetics.


Netbackup Ninja
For something that's supposed to be so bad for you, there sure are a lot of old guys sitting around puffing on cigars.

I figure just smoke in moderation and you'll be fine. If cigars give you cancer then you were going to get cancer anyway.


Newbie in the jungle
I was going to give a big long story about what's good for you and what's not. But Hoax pretty much said it all.


Humi Project Leader
If you are not inhaling, your OK.

What I find amusing is according to the "experts" living in NYC or LA is equal to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes per day due to the pollution. There are not many statistics to back up all the cancer that would cause, that is if you believe all the smoking hype.

Living in mid MO you are 3 times as likely to die of a heart attack due to bad eating habits. This is founded by statistics.

So, if you are healthy and smoke a few cigars a week I would say your chances of heath issues are so remote and not worth worrying about.

When I was in the hospital last year they ran a bunch of staff by me trying to convince me smoking a cigar was bad and I should quit. They all gave excellent reasons why you should not smoke and inhale cigarettes, but none had even close to a good reason to stop smoking cigars.

I have enjoyed many, make that countless reasons to continue to smoke cigars. Zero reasons to quit. Of course that is me. I fully support anyone that makes the decision to go either way.


Young Chimp

How old did this guy live?


Icehog '08 YES WE CAN!!!
Just like the old George Jones/ Merle Haggard song says, there's more old drunks than there are old doctors so I guess we better have another round". Same with cigars. If you look at the number of older cigar smokers you will see that it does not seem to be affecting their health much. I say smoke how ever many a week as you are comfortable with.


All things in moderation. Less than one cigar a day would seem to be a pretty irrelevant risk factor to me. If you're a meat eater you're likely putting far more carcinogens into your pie hole through eating than cigar smoking. I'm also a runner and I figure that I'm sucking in far more harmful chemicals dashing down the street than through my cigars. My good friend who's a top cancer researcher tells me that if I'm lucky enough to live to a ripe old age I'll likely have some form of cancer along the way.


Son of Evil Emperor Zurg
Just like the old George Jones/ Merle Haggard song says, there's more old drunks than there are old doctors so I guess we better have another round". Same with cigars. If you look at the number of older cigar smokers you will see that it does not seem to be affecting their health much. I say smoke how ever many a week as you are comfortable with.

Words of Wisdom from Dr. D!!!

Ditto and freakin' ditto...


Support the troops!
I smoke about one a day. I don't chew on them, which I understand is probably the most unhealthy thing you could do with a cigar. I also smoke while seated and relaxed, so I don't start breathing heavily and inhale some smoke by mistake.

I've done a fair amount of research on the subject, and it seems that smoking one a day without chewing it has minimal risks.

Indeed, maybe if I smoked more and ate less........:ss

Snake Hips

You're fine. All the studies done on the effects of cigar smoking base their minimum consumption at 2 cigars a day, and all the relevant ones have reported trivial risk to your health at that rate if you don't inhale. Your few cigars a week habit is making very little impact to your health, especially considering the remarkable state of health you maintain otherwise.

I smoke one cigar a day, often two. But I run and eat relatively healthily and do other things to maintain my health, such as keeping hydrated and getting ample sleep, so I consider my risk to be minimal as well. Even so, if it takes a few years off of my life, I don't care - at least I will have enjoyed all the other years to the greatest extent.


Elder Jungle Leader
For me, smoking a cigar is relaxing. If I couldn't enjoy it because I was concerned about my health, that'd negate the relaxation benefit and I'd find something else to do with myself.
Odds are that whatever I choose as an alternative will be worse for me, because I'm not very bright. So I'm probably better off having a cigar, I suppose. :tu