Back in medical school, we were told about the dangers of cigarette smoking, but pipe and cigar smoke were clearly seen as less harmful. According to a study in the journal Nature, pipe and cigar smoke may be more harmful than once thought. Researchers conducted a study to determine whether pipe and cigar smoking was associated with elevated cotinine levels. Cotinine is the end product of tobacco and it can be detected in the urine. They also looked at airflow to evaluate lung function. Those who did not smoke cigarettes, but did smoke pipes or cigars were more likely to have airflow obstruction than those who never smoke. Clearly, there is no free ride and I think that's the important point. If you're thinking of abusing tobacco, you have to be concerned that there is an effect down the road.
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