Exhale

The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Dangers of Cigars, Cigarettes and Hookah

21 Apr 2015
| Under COPD, Smoking | Posted by | 0 Comments
Cigar vs. Cigarette vs. Hookah effects on Lung Disease

Which is worse?

They are all bad for your health, but which is worse: cigars, cigarettes or hookah? The answer is inconclusive, of course, because they are all comprised of slightly similar substances that are used in very different ways. Cigarettes and hookah are inhaled completely, yet cigarettes have a filter and hookah doesn’t. Cigars aren’t inhaled completely, or aren’t supposed to be, yet they contain far more tobacco per serving. The dangers of cigars, cigarettes and hookah are great, and even though it may be difficult to explain the difference, we are going to try.

Tobacco and Your Health

The reason that tobacco smoke is so bad for your health comes down to two factors. One: you are lighting it on fire. If you smoke a paper wrapper filled with bark from a tree, it would also contain carcinogens. The burning of any organic substance and directing that smoke into your lungs would be harmful. However, tobacco in all three forms is treated in some form and that adds additional toxicity to the smoke.

Cigarette Smoke

Cigarettes are made from blended tobacco products, and by definition, must be wrapped in paper. More than that, cigarette tobacco is comprised of 599 potential additives. The U.S. government has approved these substances to be added to food products in small doses. However, the additives were never tested by the FDA in a scenario where they were burned. The burning of the tobacco and all of the additives creates nearly 70 chemicals known to cause cancer.

Cigar Smoke

Cigars contain up to 20 times as much tobacco as cigarettes do. Along with the larger size, cigars have 80 times the amount of nitrosamine, 30 times the carbon monoxide and 20 times the ammonia found in cigarettes—all of which are carcinogens. These added toxins come from the fermenting and aging process that cigar tobacco goes through. In comparison to cigarettes, cigars have no filter, so they inherently produce more tar. However, cigar side-stream smoke, or second-hand smoke, is just as dangerous as from cigarettes.

Hookah Smoke

Most people assume hookah smoke is not as toxic as tobacco smoke, but they are wrong. Against popular belief, the water in the pipe does not clean the smoke in any fashion. A standard session of hookah smoking lasts one to two hours, and the typical smoker consumes 150 times the amount of smoke as is in a single cigarette. That’s the equivalent of 15 packs of cigarettes. Additionally, hookah smoke commonly contains small metal fragments from the foil that the coal sits on to produce heat. This is a major irritant to the lungs.

The argument can be made that all three of these tobacco products are consumed in very different manners, and that is very true. It’s also true that all three contain an alarming number of carcinogens that can eventually lead to cancer and detrimental lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis.

If you or a loved one has quit smoking and is looking for a way to treat lung disease, the Lung Institute can help. Contact us by calling (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for cellular therapy.

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.