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Q&A: Dangers from cigar, cigarette smoke are similar

Cigar, cigarette dangers similar

After reading an article on the increasing popularity of cigar stores, I am wondering what the difference is in the dangers of cigars versus cigarettes.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds, including dozens that cause cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoke from pipes and cigars contains the same toxic substances as cigarette smoke, said Joey Smith, a health communications specialist with the CDC.

Any exposure to tobacco smoke is harmful, Smith said. Because of their greater mass, cigars generate much higher levels of many of the indoor pollutants than cigarettes.

"Smoke from a single cigar burned in a home can require five hours to dissipate, thereby exposing other household members to a sizable health risk," he said.

Cigar smoking causes oral, esophageal, laryngeal and lung cancers. There also is an increased risk of coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for regular cigar smokers who inhale, particularly those who smoke several cigars per day, Smith said.

He noted that in 1998, the National Cancer Institute concluded that "the risks of tobacco smoke exposure are similar for all sources of tobacco smoke, and the magnitude of the risks experienced by cigar smokers is proportionate to the nature and intensity of their exposure."

Glaciers continue to disappear

Last year and this year, I read where it got extremely cold in Fairbanks, Alaska, below zero most of the time. Have the ice caps and glaciers recouped or are they still melting, as the global warming people say?

A recent international study found a fifth of the ice in the world's mountain glaciers and ice caps will disappear by 2100, according to a January report in the Vancouver Sun. The study found that the European Alps and New Zealand will lose up to 75 percent of their ice, the paper reported.

The United States and western Canada could see 50 percent of glacier ice disappear by 2100, according to the research by Valentina Radic, a professor at the University of British Columbia, and colleague Regine Hock of University of Alaska Fairbanks and Uppsala University in Sweden.

Settlement may be tax-free

If someone receives a monetary settlement for pain and suffering, is it taxable? If that person has to pay the insurers back due to the incident, is it tax-deductible? Where on the form does it go?

If you receive a settlement for physical injuries or physical sickness and did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to this injury in prior years, the full amount is nontaxable and generally does not need to be reported on your income tax return. More information is available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4345.pdf.

Q&A: Dangers from cigar, cigarette smoke are similar 02/28/11 [Last modified: Monday, February 28, 2011 1:06pm]
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