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B. Cigar Smoking Poses A Public Health Threat

Narrator: This is Science Today. Cigars were once associated with tough talking gangsters but in the last decade, there's been a popular trend in cigar smoking. Lisa Bero of the University of California, San Francisco's Institute for Health Policy Studies, says that's because the print media are generating positive images of cigars as symbols of glamour, power and success.

Bero: And so what we would like to get out to the public is that they're getting a very one-sided view of cigar smoking right now. At least if they look in newspaper articles. They're only getting the positive side, they're not getting the negative side. And not only are health effects not mentioned but the public health community is very, very quiet in these articles.

Narrator: Bero likens these trendy, glamorous images of cigars to that of cigarettes in the past.

Bero: Nobody thought of the health effects whatsoever. They certainly wouldn't put it in an article. And that's exactly what we're seeing with the cigars right now. I would hope that we learned a lot from what's happened with cigarettes and we certainly know a lot more about the adverse effects of cigarettes now.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.