Any Way You Roll It

It's funny how things come around again. Take clothing styles for instance. Bell bottom pants are now making yet another comeback and it's been very fashionable to wear cowboy boots with just about everything. There was a time when bell bottoms belonged to sailors and cowboy boots were cowboy domain. Another thing that's coming around again, but doesn't happen to be as safe and user friendly as clothing, is "roll your owns".

Roll Your Owns (RYO)

Roll your own (RYO) cigarettes are very appealing, especially to young people these days when the price of cigarettes is high. People on a very tight budget who haven't make the decision to quit, are another group who may depend upon RYOs for their daily hit of nicotine. A pouch of tobacco and packet of papers is far less expensive than the conventional package of cigarettes and there is a mistaken idea that RYOs are actually a healthier choice. The tobacco companies support this concept in their advertising. Even though RYOs don't have a lot of the dangerous chemicals found in pre-packaged cigarettes, they are no less dangerous and are definitely not a safer alternative. Another reason people roll their own cigarettes is because they tend to smoke less. It takes time to roll a cigarette as opposed to tapping one out of a package.

The Risks Are Higher For Some Cancers

The awful truth is that people who smoke RYOs tend to have much higher incidence of cancers of the esophagus, pharynx and larynx (mouth and throat area) as well as lung cancer. The RYOs lack filters, so the amount of tar that goes into the smokers mouth and lungs is higher. When tar is solidified, it is that brown, sticky, stuff that is left on the cigarette filter when a person smokes filtered cigarettes. It stains the teeth and fingers of smokers and leaves a coat of brownish-yellow film on everything it touches. Imagine how the lungs of a smoker look covered in this sticky, brown, substance.

Bug Killer, Anyone?

Nicotine, also used as an insecticide (yes, to kill bugs), is both addictive and highly poisonous. It is an alkaloid that comes from the tobacco plant is colorless and deadly. Carbon monoxide (CO), another noxious part of cigarettes, is produced when carbon-containing fuels are not burned properly. This gas is colorless and does not have an odor. CO comes in high doses in cigarettes and it reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen to various parts of the body.

There's No Way To Predetermine Damage

There is no way to tell how great the risk is to a smoker who rolls his/her own cigarettes because each person rolls their cigarette differently. Some roll thin, others thick. Some use a lot of tobacco, some less than others. The amount of tobacco will determine how long the cigarette burns and how much addictive substance is being taken into the lungs.

At the end of the day the basic truth remains that the only safe cigarette is one that is never lit.

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