Risks Associated with Other Forms of Tobacco

Cigars and cigarillos actually contain more tobacco than cigarettes. Smoking cigars causes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, lung, esophagus and pancreas. Similar to cigarettes, second-hand smoke from cigars also causes cancer and other health problems.7

Pipe tobacco contains many of the same chemicals as cigarettes, and smoking a pipe causes several cancers: oral, throat, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, and colorectal. Pipe smokers are also at greater risk of cancer of the lip if they suck on the stem of the pipe. Similar to cigarettes, pipe smoking is addictive, and second-hand smoke from pipes also causes cancer and other health problems.7

Hookah (also known as shisha) smoking involves using a special water pipe to smoke tobacco which is often flavoured. Hookah smoking is linked with increased risk of several cancers: oral, lung, stomach, and esophagus. The smoke in hookah smoking is as or more toxic than cigarette smoke, however, because of the way that hookah is used, smokers can absorb even more of the toxic substances. Like cigarettes, hookah tobacco also contains nicotine, and second-hand smoke from hookahs is a health risk.11

Bidis are similar to small cigarettes and are usually flavoured. These are often imported from Southern and Southeast Asia. Smoking bidis is linked with an increased risk of developing oral, lung, stomach and esophageal cancer, and other health problems. Bidi smoke contains more nicotine than a regular cigarette.12

Marijuana smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke. When smoking marijuana, people tend to inhale more smoke and hold it in their lungs for longer than people who smoke tobacco cigarettes. Though there is limited research linking smoking marijuana to cancer and other health risks, some studies suggest that long-term marijuana use increases the risk of cancer (particularly lung, head and neck). Because marijuana and tobacco are often mixed, and there is no standard amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; the main active ingredient in marijuana) when marijuana is used, it is difficult to determine cause and effect.7