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O/T: HEALTH The Dangers of Cigar Smoking... Concerned? Overblown?

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If you smoke cigars, how many do you smoke?

  • 1 a day (daily)

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • 1 a week

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • 1 every few weeks

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • 1 a month

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • 2-3 per week

    Votes: 3 37.5%
  • 10+ per month

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8
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MJ DeMarco

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Here's another thread for the cigar smokers...


I love to smoke cigars. While I tend to like the cheapos, I've been dabbling in some better ones as of late.

Anyway, this thread is about the HEALTH RISKS of cigar smoking...

Are you concerned?
How many do you smoke a day?
Is there anything you can do that will make you stop?

And just today, I checked in to the forum's CV19 main thread (first time in weeks) and the most interesting thing I found was @Trevor Kuntz 's post about his uncle. Trevor can you tell us that story if it isn't too personal or gut wrenching?

I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.
 

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Kak

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Two a week here. I don't really have much of a concern. It is not even close to as bad as cigarettes or chew, but it certainly isn't good for you. I do chew the hell out of nicotine gum. I am probably more into the gum than I am the cigars.

I am also basically a nondrinker. Maybe 10 drinks a year. I like to think that cancels it out. ;)
 

eliquid

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There is anorther cigar thread on here somewhere where people posted pics too.

Anyways, I buy as I smoke. I don't drink.

Only smoke cigars.

I prob. smoke 1 every 2 weeks.

However, if I buy 3-4 at a time I might smoke 1 a day or every other day until I am out and then not have another until 2-3 more weeks go by, if that.

I'm in my 40's now. Not that I am concerned because of age, but I didn't smoke anything at all until my late 30's and it's always been cigars. Again, I know this isn't right mindset, but I tell myself it's not like I started smoking cigs at 18 and been smoking a whole pack every day since.
 

Trevor Kuntz

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Here's another thread for the cigar smokers...


I love to smoke cigars. While I tend to like the cheapos, I've been dabbling in some better ones as of late.

Anyway, this thread is about the HEALTH RISKS of cigar smoking...

Are you concerned?
How many do you smoke a day?
Is there anything you can do that will make you stop?

And just today, I checked in to the forum's CV19 main thread (first time in weeks) and the most interesting thing I found was @Trevor Kuntz 's post about his uncle. Trevor can you tell us that story if it isn't too personal or gut wrenching?

I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.
Sure, MJ, I don't mind sharing.

To clarify, it was my grandfather, and not my uncle. Nevertheless, he was truly the coolest guy I have ever known. Like many Boomers, he smoked cigarettes and cigars in his adult years. He preferred the latter and mostly smoked during bi-weekly poker games. He quit cold-turkey when I was born. He was 47 when he quit.

In June 2007, his dentist noticed an abnormality during a checkup (another reason to go to the dentist) and he went in to get xrays. The radiologist f*cked up and mixed up my grandfather's x-ray with another patient's xray (there were lawsuits about this later) and my grandfather thought everything was fine. Had the cancer been found then, the outcome may have been different.

In late October 2007, physical signs of the cancer were beginning to present. X-rays then showed that the cancer had already moved from his jaw into his neck and had wrapped around his carotid arteries, which made effective treatment impossible. I was 15, my siblings were 12 and 10. By Christmas, he had already lost 30 lbs.

The mass on his jaw never stopped expanding. By January, he could not speak and a tracheotomy was performed. After that, his food - nutrition shakes - was administered through a tube. He was able to communicate only by writing on a notepad and he and my mom corresponded for hours a day for months. I think she still has all of the writings. He expressed a lot of regrets about smoking, especially that he never thought about his future grandkids when he smoked.

For the last two months, fluids oozed constantly out of the tumor in his jaw/neck. At some point, they had to remove part of his tongue. I don't know how big the actual tumor was, but the bulbous mass of fluid on the side of his jaw was at least the size of a large grapefruit. He could only sleep on one side and his morphine doses increased gradually until death. The slow death sucked, but both he and my mom were glad that they could communicate for a few months while knowing the end was coming.

By the time he died in April 2008, the couch where he had laid for the last 4 months of his life was covered in blood. He had lost 100 lbs over those months and had not physically eaten or talked during that time. He didn't get to do any woodworking in his shop or go fishing or drive his classic cars, he just had to wait for death and when death came, he finally returned to his favorite place in the world, Woods Canyon Lake, Arizona.

I truly wish that he had never smoked and I will never smoke anything as long as I live.

Sorry for the long post. I also wrote a post a couple years ago about his death and my (lack of) response to it. Took a long time for me to process his death.
 
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socaldude

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I loved cigars and cigarettes too.

But, it was also the most detrimental to my health. Its the number one thing that messed up my health. My skin, my blood pressure. I recently stopped after i notice my single kidney would hurt after i smoked.

My dad, also a baby boomer smokes 1-2 packs a day. So far hes alright but he takes like 5 different meds. Makes me sad how this might turn out.
 

ChrisV

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The Dangers Of Cigar Smoking... Concerned? Overblown?


I used to smoke cigars regularly. It's not good for you.

I think that cigars are best when enjoyed on special occasions.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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I have a question for cigar smokers:

Why do you smoke them?

Perhaps include how you got into cigar smoking too.

I have some theories, but I don't want to put words into your mouths, just cigars.

"Cubans, longer & more satisfying than a Castro speech."
Sorry, couldn't resist
 
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MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

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Why do you smoke them?
For me, smoking them has become some sort of meditation, a peace, and time to sit back relax and be gratitious for the awesome life I have. While I do that normally throughout the week, the cigar sort of memorializes the process, kinda like the CAKE at the birthday party.
 

WabiSabi

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I have to admit, I want to stop. The idea of mouth cancer is terrifying.

But I also love it as it, to put it bluntly, is soul satisfying.
"If you tell me you want to be healthy, but you've got Doritos dust on your fingers, I'm believing the Doritos". - Darren Hardy

The chances of developing oral cancer through cigars seems pretty low, seems more likely that permanent/ chronic lung disease is a much bigger risk factor. The cancer angle is overblown, but burning plant material isn't good for your lungs period.

In terms of cancer, its seems the degree to which you are susceptible is heavily influenced by genetics. My great-grandfather died of lung disease in his 30's, but I've also heard of people living well into their 90's smoking.

No amount of rational evidence will convince an addict to give up his stash, nicotine brainwashes you (pun intended) into getting your fix. I think you guys are making a mistake smoking, but I respect your choice.
 

Andy Black

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For me, smoking them has become some sort of meditation, a peace, and time to sit back relax and be gratitious for the awesome life I have. While I do that normally throughout the week, the cigar sort of memorializes the process, kinda like the CAKE at the birthday party.
I love the imagery. It reminds me of when everyone has gone to bed and I get to sit on the garden bench with a cup of tea.
 

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GPM

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sit on the garden bench with a cup of tea.
Lol Andy, you are so wholesome!


I am actually super jealous that I don't have a garden bench to drink tea on. I rate my backyard a 2/10 (at least I have one I guess, it is better than my old apartment balcony thingy)
 

Siddhartha

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I won't defend cigars at all since I personally believe tobacco is the devil (especially with radium in the crops now).

BUT, as pointed out by some, it may be a semi-effective way to promote hormesis, like with eating green salads, drinking coffee, or drinking red wine. It's been a long time since I read into it and I don't have my notes anymore, but I'll link this semi-relevant write-up Dennis Mangan did about a 107 year old 4-10 cigar and 4 shot of whiskey a day veteran:

People mentioned cigars promoting oral issues for friends or family, my first question to them: How was their dental health already, did they have periodontitis or caries? Was their diet filled with sugars and seed oils?
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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Apparently I’m in a rambly mood...

I think it’s the cool points boost you get (just in your own mind) when you smoke that makes smoking so addictive.

I smoked almost two packs a day from 16-25. I’ve smoked cigars and used a pipe. Then I quit for ten or so years, hit a tsunami of stress and started smoking again, for maybe a year off and on. Then I switched to a bunch of gum. lol. Then, I quit when I realized that the gum really didn’t do anything for me and smelling like cigarettes is disgusting.

It was the defiance that made me happy. Hard to explain but.. I think most smokers have a part of them that really loves being a bit of a badass rockstar. Then we grow up, have kids, work hard.. blah blah blah.. and we can’t be our crazy defiant rule-breaking a**hole selves anymore. But we can still, for five minutes at a time, be a rebel. When I found other activities that gave me that “rebel” boost I felt good. So for me, lifting weights or jiu jitsu or buying a new car or spending an ungodly amount of money on my hair all gave me a boost. It was like “Ha. F*ck it.”

As an aside, this is used in marketing as well. It’s the pull of prestige. Starbucks has mastered it. People feel cool AND rich when they buy at Starbucks. Unlike a little local coffee shop where the “poor hippies” go. Then Starbucks got too big and it’s reversing. Now it’s cooler to go to an Indie rebel organic coffee shop than it is to support a giant company.

Anyhoo, for me it was an identity type thing. Am I a rockstar rebel outlier, pissed off at the world, defying social norms? Or am I maybe someone else who likes working out and being healthy? I think most smokers prefer being cool, at least to themselves, over being healthy.

I think most proactive people tend to identify/enjoy certain archetypes - Rockstar, Scholar, Sporty, Comedian- and then we kinda just keep following that mold until someone or something else comes along and presents a better one.

Reactive people try on different archetypes until they meet resistance from family members or social groups. Then they crumble and hide.

This is why stories are so valuable. I’ll never say I enjoy Ayn Rand’s writing BUT her books are the only fiction I know of where the truly rich, empire builders, are the protagonists. They’re the cool ones.
 

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I smoke 1 or 2 a year. A meetup ritual.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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I won't defend cigars at all since I personally believe tobacco is the devil (especially with radium in the crops now).

BUT, as pointed out by some, it may be a semi-effective way to promote hormesis, like with eating green salads, drinking coffee, or drinking red wine. It's been a long time since I read into it and I don't have my notes anymore, but I'll link this semi-relevant write-up Dennis Mangan did about a 107 year old 4-10 cigar and 4 shot of whiskey a day veteran:

People mentioned cigars promoting oral issues for friends or family, my first question to them: How was their dental health already, did they have periodontitis or caries? Was their diet filled with sugars and seed oils?
Many years ago on the news in HK there was a short segment on a very old Thai master that said smoking was exercise for the lungs.

You can't go against ancient Eastern wisdom.
 

Trevor Kuntz

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"If you tell me you want to be healthy, but you've got Doritos dust on your fingers, I'm believing the Doritos". - Darren Hardy

The chances of developing oral cancer through cigars seems pretty low, seems more likely that permanent/ chronic lung disease is a much bigger risk factor. The cancer angle is overblown, but burning plant material isn't good for your lungs period.

In terms of cancer, its seems the degree to which you are susceptible is heavily influenced by genetics. My great-grandfather died of lung disease in his 30's, but I've also heard of people living well into their 90's smoking.

No amount of rational evidence will convince an addict to give up his stash, nicotine brainwashes you (pun intended) into getting your fix. I think you guys are making a mistake smoking, but I respect your choice.
Yes, genetics and other factors are the wild card. In the example of my grandfather that MJ originally referred to, I can say that he PROBABLY would not have gotten oral/jaw cancer without smoking, but he could have easily have died the next year of another cancer completely unrelated to smoking. Not smoking doesn’t ensure lifespan, it just minimizes one risk factor among many.

@Primeperiwinkle notes that smoking is a part of many archetypes and there is some truth to that. Many of my author friends smoke because the writers they connect with also smoked, health effects be damned.

To me, smoking is the opposite of cool because the only people who smoked in my formative years were old, had terrible quality of life, and their smoking additions directly contributed to their poor quality of life. I see a cigar or cigarette and my mind goes to COPD, oxygen tanks, nasal cannulas, that big a$$ tumor on my Pop’s face, etc. Nothing sexy or cool about that.

Whether you smoke or not really come down to your personal risk assessment (same with unprotected sex, potential virus exposure, etc) and what you gain from that lifestyle/habit.

My lifestyle is increasingly being grounded by what Peter Attia refers to as the centenarian olympics.

The idea: imagine that you live to be 90 or 100. Short of a debilitating car accident, what do you want to be able to do at that age? It could be walking a certain distance up a flight of stairs and back down, being able to do a certain movement safely (like a 30 lb squat), etc and working backwards from there to how you live your life today.

The simplified equation for the process is that if you want to do X at age 90, then you will need to be able to do X*3 at age 70 and X*7 at 50 and X*10 at 30, and so on, in order to maintain a high quality of life over the full course of your life.

For me, smoking will not help me reach my goals in the centenarian Olympics.

More details can be found in this Tim Ferris podcast about longevity and long-term health (interview with Peter Attia)
 
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