While filtered cigars and cigarettes are filled with tobacco, they differ in a few important ways. According to the National Cancer Institute, however, both pose similar health risks.
The tobacco used in filtered cigars is either aged, fermented or both to imbue the tobacco with different flavors. The tobacco in a cigar is never a blend of more than one type. While the smoke from traditional cigars is not inhaled completely into the lungs, many filtered cigar smokers do so. Filtered cigars generally contain about one gram of tobacco.
Cigarettes are filled with a blend of various tobacco types, but that tobacco is never aged or fermented. Most, but not all, cigarettes come with filters attached. Cigarette smoke is traditionally inhaled completely into the lungs. An average cigarette contains about one gram of tobacco.
Because of the type of tobacco in cigars, their smoke is significantly more toxic than that of cigarettes. The National Cancer Institute cautions that even those who do not completely inhale cigar smoke are still exposing their mouth and lips to carcinogens and their bodies to addictive nicotine.