Letter to the Editor: Unsafe cigars

As I read “Cigar Circles” (Nov. 5, p.8) I became horrified by the irresponsible reporting throughout the piece.

How could a journalist fail to double-check a quote like, “It’s a transition from cigarettes, a much healthier transition”? Cigar smoke is more toxic than cigarette smoke, with more of nicotine, benzene, lead-nitrogen oxides and other chemicals. By lighting a cigar – even if you do not inhale – you subject yourself and others around you to harmful second-hand smoke.

Cigar smokers are also more likely than cigarette smokers to swallow some of that good stuff, and even just holding an unlit cigar in your mouth can cause nicotine to be absorbed into your body. Cigar smoking has been proven to increase the risk of heart disease and cancer – especially of the mouth, throat and lung – putting cigar smokers at a 50 to 70 percent higher risk than nonsmokers.

But instead of researching these facts, “Cigar Circles” falsely glorifies this risky habit. If The Hatchet is going to discuss trends on campus, even unhealthy ones, at least try to be objective and responsible. Your attempt at balance by using Student Health and a cigar dealer as your sources to the health risks of cigar smoking just does not cut it.

-Katie McMahon

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