Blood-nicotine levels were measured during non-inhaled cigar smoking and after taking snuff. The rate of nicotine absorption from non-inhaled cigar smoking was slow. This may explain why many cigarette smokers continue to inhale when they switch to cigars. In contrast, the rate of absorption from snuff was extremely rapid. Peak levels which matched those of cigarette smoking were reached within 5 min. Snuff could be an acceptable and less harmful substitute for cigarette smoking.