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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Dose Makes The Poison

Perhaps it is my life’s mission to bring some credibility back to luxury tobacco, and help separate this civilized, natural pursuit from nicotine delivery systems (chemically enhanced cigarettes). The physiology of nicotine absorption is the key to understanding why cigarettes are addictive and cigars and pipe tobaccos are not. As with so many of the things we consume in a healthy manner, the dose is what makes the poison. Extremely high levels of almost any substance will hurt us. With nicotine, the quantity that is absorbed by the body, and the frequency at which we absorb it, determines whether or not it is addictive. Cigarettes are generally made from light tobaccos which are easily inhaled. Cigarette smoke, and all of the chemicals and carcinogens that come with it, are easily absorbed by the lungs. Cigar and Pipe smoke is not inhaled, and therefore the nicotine that is absorbed throughout the mouth is far less than with cigarettes. This is the fundamental reason why Cigar and Pipe smokers do not suffer from addiction like cigarette smokers. In addition, premium cigars and pipe tobaccos do not contain the chemicals and additives which are common in commercial cigarettes. Ultimately, the time you take to savor a quality cigar or pipe tobacco is the real reward, not the ingestion of small amounts of nicotine.

Jorge Armenteros, CMT

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