The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned fruit and candy-flavored cigarettes under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, but it did not ban other flavored tobacco products such as flavored smokeless tobacco or flavored cigars such as Black & Mild. Black & Mild is one example of a popular flavored cigar brand. Smoking cigars is not a safe alternative to the use of other dangerous tobacco products like cigarettes or smokeless tobacco, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most cigar smokers do not inhale cigar smoke, there are still serious risks associated with smoking cigars such as Black & Mild.
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Black & Mild
Black & Mild is a kind of little cigar that is short and narrow. This type of cigar is made of pipe tobacco, contains more tobacco than cigarettes and is smoked through a plastic tip. Black & Mild cigars come in a variety of flavors including apple, cherry, cream and wine. In addition to the fun flavors, Black & Mild cigars are not expensive and can be bought in individual packages, which public health officials claim is an added enticement for young people to smoke.
Like other tobacco products, cigars contain a stimulant called nicotine. Nicotine causes the narrowing of blood vessels, which puts an increased burden on your heart. The nicotine in cigars is addictive. Even if a Black & Mild cigar smoker does not inhale, nicotine is still absorbed into the body through the lining of the mouth. Nicotine addiction makes it hard to stop using tobacco products because once addicted, if you try to stop, you will likely experience the unpleasant symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
Exposure to Toxins
Unlike cigarettes, cigars are composed of tobacco that has been fermented. High levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines are produced during the fermentation process. Because cigars like Black & Mild contain more tobacco than cigarettes, they also contain more carcinogenic tar. When you smoke a cigar, high concentrations of these and other cancer-causing compounds are released.
Cigar smokers are exposed to other toxic substances including ammonia, cadmium, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Even if you do not inhale cigar smoke, you do expose your esophagus, larynx, tongue, mouth and lips to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in the smoke, and the long smoking time of cigars means that your exposure to these dangerous chemicals is increased.
Although rates of lung cancer are lower in cigar smokers than in cigarette smokers, cancer is still a serious risk to cigar smokers and the people who are exposed to their secondhand smoke. Cigar smokers are at increased risk of lung, esophageal, oral and laryngeal cancer compared to nonsmokers. Cigar smoking is also associated with increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, reports the National Cancer Institute.
- Indiana Tobacco Cessation & Prevention: Flavored Tobacco Products are Tempting to Youth
- National Cancer Institute: Cigar Smoking and Cancer
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Smoking & Tobacco Use
- The Bacchus Network: Top Facts: Little Cigars
- National Cancer Institute: Cigar Smoking Causes Several Cancers and Lung and Heart Disease