What a cigar is. The harm of cigars

What a cigar is. The harm of cigars

A cigar (from Spanish cigarro) – is a rolled bundle of tobacco leaves, having a form of cylinder (or close to cylinder), used for smoking as it is. The radius of cigars is not usually exceeding 15 millimeters. The name of cigars comes from the word “sikar”, which meant the process of smoking in Maya language. Nobody knows exactly, when cigars appeared in the world. Maya and later Caribbean native people smoked something similar to a modern cigar. Travelling companions of Columbus met on the Antilles during their first expedition in 1492 original natives, who were “drinking the smoke” from rough bundles with a strange filling. It appeared to be tobacco, unknown that time for Europeans - the sort of cigar predecessor.

In section the cigar is looks like a three-layered bundle, which consists of a wrapper leaf, fillers, and a binder leaf (which binds the filler).

The main purpose of smoking cigars is (as the smokers think) – enjoying the smell of tobacco. Also the cigar is considered to be an attribute of high social status of the smoker. Strength and taste of tobacco depend not only on the location and climate of the place of growth, but also on the exact part of the plant used.

Small upper leaves are usually called ligero; they are the most compact and strongest by taste. Leaves from the middle of plant are called seco; they are the most aromatic and tasty. The lower leaves – volado – are the softest by taste. For wrappers the ligero leaves are used. There are from 2 to 5 different varieties of tobacco leaves used to create a bouquet of cigars. It is fantastically difficult to maintain the bouquet and the quality on the same level for many of the years.

The cigars can be of different shape and color. As for the shape of cigars, most of them have a traditional shape (straight tubes, cut from one side – “the leg”, which is to be lighted, and closed from another side – “the head”, which is to be taken into the mouth). They are called straight-sided cigars. The most known among them are Churchill, Corona, Lonsdale, Panatella, Robusto. The cigars are historically measured by length and diameter in inches. The diameter is measured in 64 parts of inch. For example, if the cigar is written “Ring gauge 40”, it means its diameter is equal 40/64 parts of inch. Thanks God, all these difficult measuring systems become a thing of the past, and all the world goes to metric system.

Thus, the cigar sized 5 inches x 34 in America, is sold in Europe sized 127x13,5 (in millimeters). The typical size of cigars - 6 inches x 42, it is Corona. Double Corona has the biggest size: 8 inches x 52. Petit Corona (Little Corona) usually has 4,5 inches x 40. Churchill - is very big-sized cigar, named after British politician Winston Churchill, who adored big cigars and never parted with them. Typical size of Churchill is 7 inches x 48. Churchill is generally just a big-sized Corona. Lonsdale is thinner and longer, than Corona – 6,25 inches x 42. The size of Panatellas is vary from 5 to 7,5 inches at length and from 34 to 38 in diameter. But the biggest cigars (for which there are even no home humidors) are General; they may be up to half a metre long. They are hard either to store, or to light.

Besides there are many kinds of cigars of unusual shape: Belicoso, Culebra, Diademas, Perfecto, Pyramid etc. Belicoso – is a short pyramid about 5 inches x 50 at “the leg”. Culebra is perhaps the most exotic kind of cigars – it consists of three or more twisted Panatellas. They should be smoked separately, untwisted, but they are very convenient to hold. Diademas look like torpedo. They can be 8 or more inches at length, 40 – their diameter at “the head”, 54 and more – at “the leg”. Perfecto cigars are usually closed from both sides, and have 4-9 inches at length, and 38-48 in diameter.

The name Pyramid speaks for itself. These cigars are cut from “the leg” side, about 7 inches at length, with diameter from 40 by “the head” and up to 54 at “the leg”. The most difficult-to-make cigars received their name after a great admirer of cigars – American writer Hemingway, who spent the considerable part of his life at the cigars homeland. They are called Perfecto, thinner on both sides – to make “the head” cut and “the leg” light easier.

We can conclude that cigars by their nature are similar to cigarettes, because smoking cigars causes the same dangerous consequences for the health, as if you smoked cigarettes.

The question is: what is more dangerous – a cigar or a cigarette?

The cigars are proved to contain far more tar (consequently cancerogens) than cigarettes. American National Cancer Institute conducted a fundamental research in 1998 called “Cigars: Health Effects and Trends”. The research provided not only the detailed information on the harm of cigars, but also explained the difference between “thick” (cigars) and “thin” (cigarettes).

The difference between the influence of cigars and cigarettes on one’s health do exists, but mostly because cigar smokers inhale less smoke, than cigarette smokers. It is also because the total number of smoked items (cigars or cigarettes) is less among cigar smokers, than among cigarette ones. The reason is that cigars are smoked another way, than cigarettes. First of all, people smoke cigars not often, and some smokers - even not every day. On the second hand, cigar lovers don’t usually inhale the smoke. It means fewer cancerogens get into their lungs and blood. Nevertheless the death rate of mouth cavity and esophagus is almost the same by both kinds of smokers. The aggressive cigar smoke is no less dangerous for the mouth, as the cigarette smoke. In fact cigar smoke gets into the mouth cavity not so often. The same situation takes place for the cancer of esophagus: it is caused by saliva we swallow, which contains big concentration of cancerogens dissolved in it.

Heavy smokers are often recommended to turn to cigars. People, who smoke cigars, use less amount of tobacco in comparison to cigarette smokers. Decreasing the usage of tobacco is a first step on the way to health improvement, bit it would be certainly much better, if you stop smoking both cigarettes and cigars.

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