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Special Communication
August 9, 2000

Health Risks Associated With Cigar Smoking

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Behavioral Research Center (Drs Baker and Dye and Mr Ainsworth and Ms Crammer), Epidemiology and Surveillance Research (Dr Thun), American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Ga; American Health Foundation, Valhalla, NY (Dr Hoffmann); Repace Associates Inc, Bowie, Md (Mr Repace) and Pinney Associates, Inc (Dr Henningfield and Mr Pinney), and Smoking and Tobacco Control Program, National Cancer Institute (Mr Shopland), Bethesda, Md; Department of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick (Dr Slade); Tobacco Control Policies Project (Mr Shanks) and University of California at San Diego School of Medicine (Dr Burns), University of California, San Diego; and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston (Dr Connolly).

JAMA. 2000;284(6):735-740. doi:10.1001/jama.284.6.735

This article summarizes principal findings from a conference convened by the American Cancer Society in June 1998 to examine the health risks of cigar smoking. State-of-the-science reports were presented and 120 attendees (representing government and private agencies, academia, health educators, and tobacco control experts) participated in panels and summary development discussions. The following conclusions were reached by consensus: (1) rates of cigar smoking are rising among both adults and adolescents; (2) smoking cigars instead of cigarettes does not reduce the risk of nicotine addiction; (3) as the number of cigars smoked and the amount of smoke inhaled increases, the risk of death related to cigar smoking approaches that of cigarette smoking; (4) cigar smoke contains higher concentrations of toxic and carcinogenic compounds than cigarettes and is a major source of fine-particle and carbon monoxide indoor air pollution; and (5) cigar smoking is known to cause cancers of the lung and upper aerodigestive tract.