The relaxing benefits derived from the pleasure of smoking a good cigar far outweigh any ‘potential’ smoke related health issues.
Contrary to the guarantee of certain death that the Surgeon General’s warning labels predict, cigar smoking has numerous health benefits according to Luke Russell, one of the owners of Titletown Tobacco in Green Bay, Wisconsin, “people are pushed from all directions and rush from one thing to another without ever taking the time to slow down.” Smoking a few cigars each week has helped Russell to learn the lost art of relaxation, significantly lowering his blood pressure, and improving his overall physical and mental health.
Very few people in the United States can say that their life is too slow paced and that they need to spend less time with friends and family. Enjoying a fine cigar and chatting with friends for a period of time has great health benefits on its own; however, there is much more to the health benefits of cigars than just the peace of mind that comes from relaxing and reflecting. Study after study has shown that there are many health benefits to smoking.
For example, in Cuba, during the tobacco blight in 1980, no one was allowed to smoke cigars; however cigars and cigarettes were still given to patients in mental institutions because it had a calming effect on them. Along the same lines, in an article published in 1995 in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, schizophrenics have much higher smoking rates than people with other mental illnesses, and appear to use it as a method of self-medicating. The article postulates that nicotine found in cigarettes reduces psychiatric, cognitive, sensory, and physical effects of schizophrenia, and also provides relief of common side effects from antipsychotic drugs. Smoking has shown to reduce the affects of ADHD, and depression as well.
In his book The Health Benefits of Tobacco: A Smoker’s Paradox, Dr. William Douglass lays out a plan for dosing in which casual smokers may actually prevent the onset of many diseases. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Tourette Syndrome and even prenatal diseases, can all benefit from nicotine’s medicinal properties. According to Douglass, it has recently come to light that “nicotine can boost stem cell regenerative power in patients with chronic or congestive heart failure.” Heart attack patients are able to recover faster with nicotine therapy. According to Douglass, the list of diseases to which tobacco can be used as a treatment seems endless.
In her research, Doctor Laura Fratiglioni of Huddinge University Hospital in Sweden states that the risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease is surprisingly higher in non-smokers than in smokers. This is explained further in a study by the University of South Florida College of Medicine.
Furthermore, studies have shown tobacco to be useful in controlling weight as well. And, according to Luke Russell, “there’s nothing better to keep the mosquitoes away while golfing than the billowing smoke of a good cigar.”
“But cigars cause cancer,” many say. According to James P Siepmann, MD smoking does not cause lung cancer; it is one of many risk factors for lung cancer. In fact, according to Dr Siepmann’s article, a male smoker in the United States has only an 8% lifetime chance of dying from lung cancer. But that’s neither here nor there, since Dr. Seipmann was talking about cigarette smoking and we are talking about the health benefits of cigar smoking in which the chances of lung cancer are even less.
All in all, Russell says, “I’ll take the chance for all of the benefits. So slow down, take time and enjoy a fine cigar with a good friend. You’ll be glad you did. After all, its for your health!”
Smoking and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease: Review of the Epidimiological Studies. Brain Behav. Res. 2000 Aug; 113(1-2): 117-20.
Nicotine Use in Schizophrenia: The Self-Medication Hypothesis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. Volume 29, Issue 6. 2005; 1021-1034