How to Smoke a Cigarette Without Inhaling

Updated April 17, 2017

According to the National Cancer Institute, people who do not inhale smoke have lower rates of lung cancer, coronary heart disease and lung disease. But there are still great risks. Even without inhaling, smokers expose their lips, mouth, tongue, throat and larynx to cancer-causing chemicals. Smoke can get into the saliva, which is swallowed, exposing the oesophagus to carcinogens. The best way to reduce the risks that come with cigarettes is to not smoke at all.

Hold the cigarette lengthwise, placing the filter into your mouth, and light it with a match or lighter.

Draw on the cigarette, using only the air in your mouth. Keep your throat closed. Do not breathe normally. Do not allow the smoke to get to your lungs.

Close your lips and keep the smoke in your mouth.

Open your lips and release the smoke, blowing out.

Repeat the process with another drag.


Make sure to release all the smoke before breathing in. Smoking outdoors, instead of indoors, lessens the concentration of second-hand smoke, but it still can be inhaled.


Even if you don't inhale when smoking a cigarette, you will need to eventually breathe and will take in second-hand smoke, which contains sidestream smoke (smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette). Sidestream smoke contains higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents than the mainstream smoke that is exhaled by the smoker. According to the National Cancer Institute, "There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke."

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About the Author

Anthony Szpak started writing professionally in 1998 as an undergraduate. He has sold television pilots to Castlerock, FX and 20th Century Fox. He has also inked a development deal with Paramount Television and his fiction has been featured in the "Rockhurst Review" and on He received his Master of Fine Arts in fiction from Columbia University.