Cigars and cigarettes are both tobacco-based products that you smoke by lighting one end with fire. However, there are many differences between them that are worth understanding.
Some of these differences are obvious. For one, cigars are bigger and have a different shape. They also cost more to buy than cigarettes (and tend to have a classier reputation).
But what else is different between cigars and cigarettes? This post takes a look at some of the other big differences.
What’s in them?
Cigars and cigarettes both contain tobacco inside, but the wrapping on the outside is different. Cigars are wrapped in a tobacco leaf. Cigarettes meanwhile are wrapped in paper.
Premium pre-rolled cigars are often hand-rolled by experts, while cheaper pre-rolled cigars are rolled by a machine. Cigarettes are meanwhile almost always rolled by a machine. You can also roll your own cigars, just like you can roll your own cigarettes.
The tobacco inside a cigar is often a different quality to that of cigarettes – especially when it comes to high quality cigars which contain skillfully hand folded tobacco leaves. Cigarettes on the other hand almost always contain shredded tobacco leaf, which may be mixed with shredded stems and other byproducts. In both cases, other flavors like cinnamon or citrus can be infused into the tobacco.
Both cigars and cigarettes contain nicotine. A single cigarette typically contains 10 mg of nicotine. A single cigar can meanwhile contain a whopping 100 to 200 mg of nicotine.
Cigarettes almost always come with a filter to capture certain chemicals. Cigars traditionally do not come with a filter, however you can buy cigars with filters at sites like Cheap Little Cigars.
How do you smoke them?
Cigarette smoke is designed to be inhaled. This helps the nicotine to enter the blood faster, which gives smokers that high.
With cigars, you are only supposed to keep the smoke in your mouth. The focus is typically on the taste of the smoke. Inhaling is not recommended – the nicotine content of one cigar is the same as a pack of cigarettes, making inhalation very unhealthy.
A cigarette can take 5 to 10 minutes to smoke. Cigars on the other hand often take 30 to 60 minutes to smoke. Cigars also take more preparation as they have to be cut and can take a little longer to light. This guide at the Art of Manliness explains more as to how to cut a cougar.
Which is worse for your health?
There is no healthy option when it comes to choosing between cigars and cigarettes. On average, cigarettes tend to do more damage because people smoke them more regularly and inhale them. Cigars may only be smoked at special occasions and are not inhaled, so tend not to cause as much damage.
That said, if you get into a habit of regularly smoking cigars and you inhale them, you are likely to do more damage than you would smoking cigarettes.
It’s worth noting that the risk of lung cancer is greater when smoking a cigarette compared to a cigar. Cigars on the other hand carry a higher risk of oral cancer. Vape pens – although not free from health risks – are a far healthier alternative to both cigars and cigarettes.