Myth 1: Low-yield Cigarettes are Safer

Some of us think smoking low-yield cigarettes (”lights”) are safer than regular cigarettes because they have enhancements such as filters or promise lower nicotine content.

However, smokers tend to inhale more deeply when smoking low-yield cigarettes and block the filter vents with their hands or mouth, to get a nicotine high similar to normal-yield cigarettes.

Studies show that reduced tar levels only slightly lower the risk of lung cancer, and have little to no effect in reducing the risk of other lung and heart diseases

Myth 2: Cigars are Better Than Cigarettes

The amount of tobacco in each cigar is generally several times more than a cigarette — as much as 20 times!

While cigar smokers normally do not inhale cigar smoke as it is too acrid, the risk of lung cancer of cigar smokers is still 25 times higher than that of non-smokers.

Myth 3: E-cigarettes are Harmless

An electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette) is a device designed to imitate cigarettes and is activated with a cartridge which contains a liquid chemical mixture. The liquid chemical mixture consists of nicotine and other harmful chemicals found in conventional cigarettes.

E-cigarette makers have touted them as the healthier alternative to regular cigarettes but this is not supported by the World Health Organisation.

Myth 4: Roll-your-own Cigarettes are Safer

Smokers may choose to roll their own cigarettes (sometimes called ang hoon) as a cheaper alternative to buying regular cigarettes.

Since many of the harmful chemicals found in regular cigarettes are also found in the loose tobacco used for roll-your-own cigarettes, smokers of ang hoon face the same risks of smoking-related diseases.

Myth 5: Shisha (Waterpipe) Smoking is Harmless

A shisha is a waterpipe, inside which flavoured tobacco is partially burned. Shisha is seen as a popular social activity, especially among youths.

Shisha smoking is dangerous: the water in the shisha pipe does not absorb harmful substances in the smoke.

In fact, a shisha smoker will inhale 100 to 200 times the amount of smoke produced by a single cigarette in one hour, as people smoking shisha take more and deeper puffs from the waterpipe.

Myth 6: Oral Tobacco is Safer since it’s not Smoked

Oral smokeless tobacco is chewed or sucked in the mouth. These include chewing tobacco and snuff. Chewing tobacco is prohibited by law in Singapore.

Smokeless tobacco is not a safe substitute for cigarette smoking. Oral tobacco is a major form of tobacco addiction and causes cancer of the head, mouth, neck and throat.

No Myth: Tobacco in Any Form Hurts our Health

Consumption of tobacco, in any form, increases your risks of contracting serious health problems like diabetes and cancer. The best way to keep you safe from the harmful effects of tobacco is to stay away entirely.

Resources for Quitting

Join the I Quit 28-Day Countdown now! Call QuitLine at 1800 438 2000 for support, and visit participating retail pharmacies for advice and products that can help you quit.

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