This really shouldn’t be necessary, but I occasionally run into smokers who claim they are not worried about getting lung cancer or any other smoking related diseases because their smoking method is “safe” compared to how most smokers smoke. They are nothing like the average smoker, they are “special”, so they figured out a “smart” way to smoke to greatly reduce their chances of damaging their health.
There are smokers with their fancy pipes, there are smokers who use those ridiculous retro-looking cigarette holders who think they’re Audrey Hepburn, there are clove smokers, cigar smokers, and even smokers who roll their own cigarettes. Yet what they all have in common is that they are all inhaling toxic, carcinogenic chemicals into their throat and/or lungs.
In this post, we will just look at the dangers of hand-rolled cigarettes. According to the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Sorlandet Hospital Kristiansand, Kristiansand, Norway:
In this unselected population with newly diagnosed lung cancer, nine out of 10 ever-smokers had smoked primarily hand-rolled cigarettes. Patients smoking hand-rolled cigarettes had a smoking history of fewer daily cigarettes and less pack-years tobacco consumed than fabricated cigarette smokers. In this study, hand-rolled cigarettes are more frequently used than shown in national statistics. Smokers of hand-rolled cigarettes may have a greatly increased risk for lung cancer compared with smokers of fabricated cigarettes.
To some people this may seem ironic, that a method they thought was a safer way to smoke actually turns out to be even more hazardous for their health than regular cigarette smoking. This is just like my Is waterpipe smoking safer than cigarette smoking? post, which showed that water pipe smoking is more dangerous than cigarette smoking.
But it really shouldn’t be ironic. Some people may need to believe in comforting myths to get themselves through the day, but this is a myth that deserves to be destroyed – there is no such thing as a safe smoke.
If you smoke, I urge you to quit. As for electronic-cigarettes, since these haven’t been around long enough it is difficult to say with certainty how dangerous they are. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are as dangerous as regular cigarettes.