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.
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