The debate about the amount of nicotine available in cigars and cigarettes has raged on for a while now and the information generated as a result is just enough to confuse anyone instead of giving them the true facts as they are. Like most debates involving the diaspora, this debate has its shared amount of unfounded theories based purely on emotion and personal views than on scientific study.
Scientific reports have established the difference between cigars and cigarettes which difference can be summarized in the mode of manufacture. The majority of cigars are manufactured by using one single type of tobacco taken through an air curing process and fermented and they also have a tobacco wrapper. The amount of tobacco in cigars varies from 20 g to 1 g.
Cigarettes on the other hand are manufactured from varied blends of tobacco which are not fermented and they are wrapped in paper. The cigarettes contain lower than 1 g of tobacco and they are all of one size. This is unlike cigars which come in three basic sizes: large cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars.
From the outset, it should be clear to everyone that none of these two habits (cigar smoking and cigarette smoking) is healthy in any kind of way. The purpose of this article is to get the difference in nicotine levels of these products. In the process of manufacturing cigars especially at the fermentation stage, the tobacco used in cigars loses about a third of its nicotine content.
Cigarette tobacco likewise loses some of its nicotine content during its curing process but not as much as fermented tobacco does. A fully processed cigarette contains 50% nicotine the other half being made up of additives and other compounds to enhance taste and mask the bitterness of the products. Cigars fully processed are made up of 100% tobacco.
Studies conducted to establish the different concentrations of compounds in cigars and cigarettes point to the fact that regular users of cigarettes consume more nicotine than regular cigar users. The reason for this is that cigarette smokers are known to increase their consumption of cigarettes over time while cigar smokers have been found to keep to modest use of the product some even using fewer as time passes.
Nicotine being the single most dominant property in tobacco thus becomes the substance most critically examined. Strictly speaking, the nicotine content of a single cigar is equivalent to the nicotine levels in a number of cigarettes even a whole pack. The difference in the amounts in cigars and cigarettes comes in their consumption, the packaging of cigarettes and the aging of cigar tobacco.
Cigar smoke is largely alkaline which makes it harder to inhale and thus the nicotine can be delivered orally where the nicotine is absorbed through the oral mucosa which means the delivery to the brain will be more concentrated only slower. Cigarette smoke is normally acidic and the kind of nicotine it has can only be delivered to the body through inhalation.
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