When you get down to it it's the chemicals that cause the biggest part of the problem in cigarettes. They have urethane and formaldehyde as preservatives, and they've had every pesticide known to man, including DDT, saturated into the growing fields over the years, they have flavor additives, nicotine additives, etc., that were approved by the FDA without any study as to whether the byproducts produced when you burn them are safe, which is a rather large oversight to say the least, the list just goes on and on. I agree there are unique issues to commercially produced cigarettes that don't necessarily carry over to other forms of tobacco.
If the risk were just in smoking a plant, why is there minimal or no cancer risk for pot smokers? Because the stuff is generally grown without pesticides and a bunch of additives. Like tobacco used to be before the advent of megabusiness farming. On the other hand, it's hard to feel bad for the tobacco companies, you can't argue they didn't do this to themselves. Scary thing, the U.S. food supply has about as many issues with it as cigarettes at this point.
Not that this has anything to do with the job loss issue, just a side rant.