Carcinogens in Pipe Tobacco??

Discussion in 'The Brown Leaf' started by edutton, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. I've never smoked a pipe and really know nothing about the various types of pipe tobaccos out there. However, I used to be a regular cigarette smoker and smoked the occasional cigar, but I have curbed that habit to only one or two cigs per week. My questions is- Does pipe tobacco have the same carcinogens and "poisons" that are found in cigarette tobacco? Is the main difference just in flavor? I'm curious about smoking a pipe, but not sure if I should even bother.
  2. Pipe tobacco is just as carcinogenic as cigarettes or cigars. Pipe smokers generally smoke less than cigarette smokers and you're more likely to get oral cancer than lung cancer. The better flavor, aroma and experience are the main attractions.
  3. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    While the premise that "tobacco is tobacco" is essentially correct, commercially available cigarettes are far from a natural tobacco product, many pipe tobaccos are. It is also worth a mention that the statistical likelihood of attaining any form of cancer is lower among pipe smokers than other forms of tobacco use. Snus may be an exception I haven't seen actuarial(SP?) tables on that product.
  4. Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  5. Pipe Tobacco, like cigar tobacco is generally much purer than cigarettes. Cigarettes contain a lot of additives to make them more addictive, deliver the tobacco quicker and save money.

    I am concerned about the flavored pipe tobaccos though, since to make it taste like vanilla or cherry they have to add some chemicals. I stay away from those.
  6. Having researched the subject heavily on the Internet, I do believe that most burned tobacco products are potentially carcinogenic.
  7. Cigarette tobacco really isn't tobacco it all, less than 42% of the "tobacco" in a cigarette is actual tobacco. A majority of the additives in cigarettes are added to boost the available nicotine and make the smoke easier to inhale down to the lungs.

    Pipe tobacco on the other hand (and I'm using English pipe tobacco since the Brits have strict laws governing the amount of additives that are put into pipe tobac) are at least 90% actual tobacco. Pipe tobacco, being that it is not inhaled nor is it smoked for nicotine, doesn't need the additional additives present in cigarettes.

    There is a lot of debate over whether these additional compounds are what makes cigarette smoke more carcinogenic than pipe or cigar tobacco, but in all reputable studies ever done comparing the two, cigarette smoke has around 50% more carcinogens while burning than pipe or cigar smoke.

    Indeed, snus is the safest form of tobacco around, closely followed by nasal snuff. The danger in most tobacco comes from outdated methods of fermentation and the actual combustion from ignition.

    This puts tobacco use on a scale of increasing likeliness to cause cancer. At the low end of the spectrum is air-cured snus, snuff, and chew tobacco. The mid-range would include fermented smokeless tobacco like American dip and English nasal snuff. The above average category would be pipes and cigars (with pipe smoking at a slight statistical advantage over cigars.) And then at the very top of the scale would be cigarette smoking, which is by far the most dangerous mode of using tobacco.

    So, going by the above scale, pretty much any tobacco you use will be safer than smoking cigarettes. (Did I mention that cigarettes taste worse than any other tobacco product on the list?)
  8. If you want to smoke, you increase your risk of cancer. There is no "Safe" tobacco. Poor Graham Chapman died of throat cancer thanks to smoking a pipe.
  9. Actually, a good old fashioned BBQ steak has carcinogens as well as heavily toasted bread. Bon appetite!
  10. Oh, man... I must've been doing it all wrong for a lot of years.... I inhaled - deeply - AND I was digging the nicotine.
  11. I smoked a pipe for years...

    There is no such thing as "safe tobacco," but if you are going to take the risk, a pipe is the best smoking experience IMHO. Just keep it cool, puff slowly...increase the burn temperature, and you increase the carcinogens (as I understand it). I once read about the idea of a contest to see who could smoke a pipe the slowest. That's the philosophy to take this hobby up with.

    Good luck!


  12. Well, now that you know better, you don't have to keep making the same dumb mistake.
  13. You stay away from me with your second hand poisons.

  14. it's really sad, isn't it? see those pathetic diet soda drinkers standing outside their office doorways, sucking on their addictive, dangerous D.Cokes & D.Pepsis. They're even out there in the rain, poor pathetic fools.
  15. I saw in the news today that swimming pools with chlorine in them are carcinogenic. I think you are probably safer with a pipe than anything else. I have also read an article that says pipe smokers have an average longer lifespan than nonsmokers.
    I love my pipes.

  16. I thought you decided not to start smoking a pipe after all?
  17. What tobacco(s) are you trying out?
  18. That "tiramasu" tasting rum and espresso sounds interesting (I love my coffee like any other good Italian) but it sounds like the #1 is a better grade of tobacco.
  19. You do that too? I thought I was the only one. :001_rolle I love the smell of some of the pressed Virgina's I have in my humidor.

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