Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Week for the week of May 29. Read the full tasting note:
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Health Risks of Smoking Cigars
Cigars are often associated with a sense of class, sophistication and wealth. They are a luxurious and time consuming pastime that many enjoy because of the complex flavors they create. However, cigar smoking also has some health risks associated with it. Cigar smokers are at risk for developing oral cancer, esophageal cancer and laryngeal cancer. Cigars are also known to cause tooth loss and gum disease in some smokers.
While a cigar is considered to be a tobacco product, it is not subject to the same marketing regulations as cigarettes are. This has lead to some cigar companies packaging their products to look similar to cigarettes and advertising them in the same ways as cigarette companies do. Some cigar companies even promote their products in urban lifestyle magazines and music festivals.
The Filler: This is the main bulk of the cigar. It is made from a variety of different tobacco leaves or a single leaf that have been fermented and dried. The filler is what creates the flavor of a cigar. The Binder: The binder is the tobacco leaf that binds the filler leaves together. The binder is thick and uneven, and it helps to add flavor to the cigar.
Smokers of 1-2 cigars per day are not at an increased risk of death from coronary heart disease, stroke or emphysema compared with non-smokers. In fact, in one study of 250,000 government-insured participants, those who smoked fewer than two cigars a day had the same rate of death from heart disease as nonsmokers. This is likely due to the fact that cigars are often smoked as part of a regimen of medications such as fibrinolytic and clopidogrel, which help to prevent blood clots that can block coronary arteries.