Background: Cigar consumption in the United States has increased dramatically since 1993, yet there are limited prospective data on the risk of cancer associated with cigar smoking. We examined the association between cigar smoking and death from tobacco-related cancers in a large, prospective cohort of U. S. men.
Methods: We used Cox proportional hazards models to analyze the relationship between cigar smoking at baseline in 1982 and mortality from cancers of the lung, oral cavity/pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bladder, and pancreas over 12 years of follow-up of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study II cohort. A total of 137 243 men were included in the final analysis. Women were not included because we had no data on their cigar use. We excluded men who ever smoked cigarettes or pipes and adjusted all rate ratio (RR) estimates for age, alcohol use, and use of snuff or chewing tobacco.
Results: Current cigar smoking at baseline, as compared with never smoking, was associated with an increased risk of death from cancers of the lung (RR = 5.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.0-6.6), oral cavity/pharynx (RR = 4.0 [95% CI = 1.5-10.3]), larynx (RR = 10.3 [95% CI = 2.6-41.0]), and esophagus (RR = 1.8; 95% CI = 0.9-3.7). Although current cigar smokers overall did not appear to be at an increased risk of death from cancer of the pancreas (RR = 1.3; 95% CI = 0.9-1.9) or bladder (RR = 1.0; 95% CI = 0.4-2.3), there was an increased risk for current cigar smokers who reported that they inhaled the smoke (for pancreas, RR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.5-4.8; for bladder, RR = 3.6; 95% CI = 1.3-9.9).
Conclusions: Results from this large prospective study support a strong association between cigar smoking and mortality from several types of cancer.