Does switching from cigarettes to pipes or cigars reduce tobacco smoke exposure

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Breath Tests; Carbon Monoxide; Cross-Sectional Studies; Humans; Male; *Smoking; Thiocyanates


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


Cigarette smoking histories, reported depth of inhalation, number of pipe and cigars (PC) smoked, serum thiocyanate (SCN) and expired air carbon monoxide (CO) levels were examined in PC male smokers enrolled in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). Serum SCN levels for all PC smokers were higher than for non-smokers and lower than for current cigarette smokers. Levels were related to the amount of product smoke. Prior cigarette smokers had higher SCN levels when compared to PC users who had never smoked cigarettes, smoked a larger number of tobacco products per day, and reported inhaling into the chest more often. Prospective data on baseline cigarette smokers demonstrated that smokers who stopped all tobacco products had a greater drop in SCN and CO than those who switched to PC. The findings strongly suggest that cessation of all tobacco products is the best strategy for decreasing exposure to tobacco smoke.


Am J Public Health. 1987 Nov;77(11):1412-6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of public health

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID