I will post this very quietly so as not to wake the life insurance underwriters who would likely leap on an article like this to do away with the great non smoking rates that cigar smoking applicants are getting right now. By the way, I haven’t seen this information shared in Cigar Aficianado.

I remember as a child when the family would travel. My Mom was a cigarette smoker and my Dad smoked cigars. In the winter in Wyoming there isn’t a whole lot of rolling the window down for fresh air, so at the end of a 50 or 100 mile trip I often felt like I had inhaled the equivalent of a small tobacco plantation on fire. It was not pleasant.

While much has been made of cigarettes and their second hand smoke, very little has been said about cigars and both the first and second hand dangers they pose.

The article made some very good points that I honestly hadn’t considered. Cigars often have a great concentration of nicotine, the substance you get addicted to. The not inhaling into the lungs argument is a myth as the nicotine is readily absorbed into the blood through the lining of your mouth.

While cigars are not as frequently blamed as cigarettes for lung cancer, they are a major risk factor for pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.

While a person might only smoke a cigar or two a day (frequent smoker), they are larger and because they are wrapped differently than cigarettes, have more of the toxins and irritants than cigarettes. “A Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology study found higher levels of the toxin carbon monoxide at two cigar social events in San Francisco than on a busy California freeway”.

Currently there are a handful of companies that will approve non smoking rates for frequent cigar smokers and plenty of companies that will just about look the other way for occasional cigar use.

Bottom line. Consider the risk. Consider your life insurance and take advantage of the fact that there are at least a few companies that haven’t put frequent cigar smokers in the same category as the cigarette smoking counterparts. Consider those who get to share that smoke!