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Stogie News: Smoking Cigars Can Improve Your Health?

5 Feb 2009



Thanks to politicians, self-interested health organizations, and biased doctors, most of us probably don’t fully understand the many advantages of tobacco. It may surprise you to learn that smoking cigars poses some serious health benefits. That’s right. Benefits.

DoctorI discovered some of tobacco’s benefits when a letter from Dr. William Campbell Douglass II came across my desk this week. Once voted “Doctor of the Year” by the National Health Federation, Dr. Douglass says, “When practiced in moderation, smoking can load you up with health benefits you never imagined possible.”

The letter, which likely dates back to 2004 when Dr. Douglass’ The Health Benefits of Tobacco was published, says the author is not on Big Tobacco’s payroll and does not advocate smoking in excess. But he does say “mountains of evidence” suggest smoking and health are not necessarily at odds.

According to Dr. Douglass, smoking can:

Slash your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Improve your memory and concentration
Help prevent thyroid, breast, and skin cancer
Produce new blood vessel growth around blocked arteries

Moreover, brothers of the leaf have an advantage over cigarette smokers because stogie manufacturers don’t add dangerous chemicals and fiberglass to their products like cigarette companies do. That’s why, to improve cardiovascular health, Dr. Douglass sometimes prescribes “three delicious cigars a day.”

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Maybe it is. As I wrote in a similar commentary about 16 months ago, I’m not a doctor and I don’t have the training or resources to fully examine Dr. Douglass’ claims.

Still, I thought bringing this to your attention was important. It seems nowadays, when it comes to cigars and risk, there’s more misinformation out there than information. And we can’t rely on special interest groups to find the truth.

So, if you’re interested, I implore you to seek out empirical evidence and continue to read about cigars and health with an open mind. Even though the notion of tobacco health benefits might seem crazy, is it any crazier than blindly accepting faulty “scientific” advice from the very groups that have fueled and profited from the fanatic anti-smoking movement?

-Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate

17 Responses to “Stogie News: Smoking Cigars Can Improve Your Health?”

  1. The Cigar Spy Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 2:34 am #

    Bullshit.

    lol j/k

    to much of anything, is never good. so im sticking to 1 cigar a day, not 3. i think thats just the safest way to go.

    thanks for the article, this should be a comment whore post lol

    – agent 15

    • Corey Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      I agree, to much of anything is never good. To much vitamin A can kill you for instance. I agree wit the 1 cigar a day theory over the 3 a day. You only need to keep the tobacco in your system. It is just like coffee, you only need 1 cup ever 8 hours to keep the caffeine in your body and keep you energized. Anything after that is a waste, you just pea it out.

      • Yaspar Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 10:43 am #

        I think what you are trying to say, in a somewhat illiterate way, is that TOO much of a good thing is never good. That's as irrational as saying that all tobacco use is deadly. Do you have any evidence that smoking many cigars a day is harmful? Asked another way, can you give me the name of ONE heavy cigar smoker who died from smoking? Or even got sick from it? I can't find a single one. Therefore, I reject as unscientific and irrational, the blanket generalization that "TOO much of a good thing is never good." Blanket generalizations are often wrong.

  2. Tommy Zman Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Hey… I wrote an article in Cigar Magazine last year entitled: Cigars Are Good for You. Many physicians believe that the positive mental aspects far outweigh the possible physical dangers. And jusy about every damned doctor r dentist that I know smokes cigars.

    – Tommy Z.

  3. furious Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 3:26 am #

    This post is especially timely for me because just yesterday I was asked by a co-worker to read an article on MSN preaching about the dangers of smoking cigars. This article was the usual drivel that included a line about the potential loss of libido and increased risk for heart disease that the author felt is inherent to any form of smoking. I responded that ANYTHING in EXCESS is deleterious to one's health, and that I do not think my 1 cigar a day habit is significantly contributing to my early demise. Quite frankly, I feel that the de-stressing that usually occurs during my evening cigar period far outweighs any actual adverse effect on my physical health.

    Thanks for giving me some food for thought for the anti-smoking nazis at my place of employment.

  4. Professor Bill Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 5:24 am #

    As far as the first two benefits, I definitely believe there is solid evidence to support those. For example, there was an epidemiological study of VA patients comparing those who smoked and those who didn't. The incidence of Parkinson's disease among those who smoked was a full 50% less than those who didn't. There was well over a hundred thousand patients in the survey, so theoretically nuances of specific patient profiles should have worked themselves out. And from a physiology standpoint we know that nicotine in small amounts doesn't appear to be harmful in any way, in fact it may help with dopamine production in the brain which the lack thereof leads to conditions like Parkinson's and Alzhiemer's.

    I think the problems with smoking come from inhaling. Inhaling smoke into the lungs is definitely not healthy, but we don't do that with cigars.

    My only question is how do I get a box of cigars that rates high before they are sold out?

    • Corey Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      If you ever smoked a cigar you would know that you do not inhale the smoke. Just throwing that out there. If you are then you are doing it wrong. Tobacco is absorbed through the mouth, not the throat or lungs. Pulling into your lungs is dangerous and harmful as you say. Which is why you only pull into your mouth, and which is also why cigarettes are more harmful that cigars.

  5. George E. Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 7:21 am #

    More food for thought concerning the dangers of accepting conventional wisdom. The NYT ran a story the other day about studies of children born to crack mothers, and the results showed “the long-term effects of such exposure on children’s brain development and behavior appear relatively small.” There was no statistically significant effect on I.Q. or language development. Now, remember, taking crack while pregnant has been deemed so dangerous that women have been jailed for doing it. Of course, no one is saying that it is OK to take crack — or other drugs — while pregnant. But is certainly appears that the level of danger has been highly overstated. You can read the story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/he…%20baby&am…

  6. ralph Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    No cigarette company adds fiberglass to their cigarettes, and the primary danger from smoking comes from the products of combustion.

    All the benefits mentioned here come from NICOTINE, not SMOKING. And nicotine has more downsides than upsides, even though nicotine itself does not cause cancer or death (except through heart disease, if it is heavily abused).

    The occasional cigar's risks are so tiny as to be negligible. But smoking 3 cigars a day puts the smoker at a greatly increased risk of cancer.

  7. Rich Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 1:36 am #

    Tobacco offers many benefits, both mental and physical, and it has been used medicinally for millennia. I have an entire chapter devoted to the health benefits of smoking in my book which you can browse through at my site http://www.smokescreens.org

    You're right about the self-interested health organisations; the WHO receive more money from private funding that UN funding, and the majority of those donations come from the pharmaceutical industry – the same industry making smoking cessation products and funding anti-smoking studies to try to increase their sales.

  8. vpw Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    I have a hard time believing that cigars are actually "good for you". I think that's just wishful thinking. Any benefits are probably outweighed by the negatives.

    But I don't think it's as bad as lot of people think. There's a good article on the cigars and health at:- http://bigredcigar.com/blog/2010/01/health-effect… which contains all the statistics. It seems that as long as you don't smoke many then you're pretty safe. But if you smoke a lot and inhale then you're still in trouble.

  9. Larry Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    I mostly smoke a pipe but frequently enjoy a Plascencia Reserva Organica cigar from Famous Smoke in Easton, Pa.

    My uncle Eddie smoked 3 to 5 cigars a day and lived to be 95 without ever being sick a day in his life.

    As Mark Twain said, "If you quit smoking you won't live longer, but it will seem like it."

    Dr. Douglass is the man!

    • Yaspar Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Another Twain quote: "Had I taken my doctors' advice, and stopped smoking cigars, I would not have lived long enough to attend their funerals."

  10. Chuck Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    I've been smoking cigars (between 1 and 2 p/day) for almost a year now and one of the things I hear – over and over – from well-meaning people is the line "you'll get mouth cancer". I'm not a doctor so I can't refute what they say but Dr. Campbell scoffs at the idea. My Tobacconist put it more eloquently: bullsh*t!

  11. Yaspar Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Great article! When I tried to explain the benefits of cigar smoking to my neurologist, she had a complete meltdown, and started shrieking at me, right in her office.

    I found a new neurologist.

  12. Bobby J. Gallo Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    I am a VERY health conscious individual, but I do smoke two relatively small Toscano Style 100% natural tobacco cigars per day… And you know what? … They have lowered my blood pressure substantially.

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