The Health Risks of Smoking Pipes and Cigars

Smoking pipes or cigars can have serious consequences for your health, including gum disease, tooth staining, bad breath, and tooth loss. A study showed that pipe and cigar smokers were missing an average of four teeth. Cigarettes and pipe tobacco are not risk-free alternatives to smoking, and can cause serious health problems. Cigar and pipe smokers often argue that their health isn't at risk because they only smoke one or two a day and don't inhale.

However, research shows that smoking cigars and pipes continues to increase the risk of cancer more than the risk of non-smokers. Hookshakes, or hookahs, originated in ancient Persia and India about 400 years ago and are still popular today. The HealthLinkBC files are easy-to-understand fact sheets on a variety of public health and safety topics, such as disease prevention and vaccines. Cigarette smoke contains many of the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in cigarette smoke, and people who smoke four or more cigars a day are exposed to an amount of smoke equivalent to 10 cigarettes; even people who don't inhale are exposed to their own environmental smoke.

Cigarette and pipe smoking doubles the risk of airway damage caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Despite this, many people who smoke pipes and cigars claim that their habit is harmless and perpetuate the misperception that they are somehow safer than cigarettes. This is simply not true; smoking pipes or cigars can have serious health risks associated with it. If you are considering taking up smoking pipes or cigars, it is important to understand the risks associated with it.

Speak to your doctor about the potential health risks before you start smoking, so you can make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.