Smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causes a variety of diseases that affect almost every organ in the body. According to a recent study, even a single cigarette a day can raise the chance of an early death.
The study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) said that smoking even one cigarette a day can cause a significant damage to one’s health. The researchers said that compared to non-smokers, individuals who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day had a 64 percent higher risk of an early death and for those who smoked between one and 10 cigarettes a day, the figure was 87 percent.
The researchers of the study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine in December 2016, analyzed data of over 290,000 adults in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. At the start of the study, the participants were aged between 59 and 82 years. As per the researchers, low-intensity smoking was defined as 10 or fewer cigarettes per day. During the study, the participants were asked about their smoking behaviors during the nine-year period, beginning before they reached their 15th birthday until they reached the age of 70.
During the study, the researchers also found a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer mortality. It said that for those who smoked between one and 10 cigarettes per day, the risk of dying from lung cancer was nearly 12 times higher. They were also at a six times increased risk of dying from respiratory diseases.
As per lead author of the study, Maki Inoue-Choi, Ph.D., Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics from the NCI, the study results supported the fact that there was no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. The researchers highlighted that smoking even a small number of cigarettes per day had substantial negative health effects.
Doubts over findings
As per the critics of the study, the study was limited as it relied on people recalling their smoking habits over many decades. In addition, the participants mostly comprised white people in their 60s and 70s. The study also lacked detailed data about smoking patterns among those who smoked less than one cigarette per day. It is also important to note that while the study sample was large, the actual number of low-intensity smokers who had been consistent over their lifetime was relatively small.
‘It is better to quit tobacco altogether’
As per Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, there is simply no safe level of smoking. While stopping smoking is essential to one’s health, it is even better to not smoke at all.
According to Patricia Folan who directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health, Great Neck, New York, as per her experience, low-intensity smokers often do not consider themselves as real smokers. As these individuals deny smoking, their smoking habit often remains hidden.
Recovery road map
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking accounts for 480,000 deaths a year in the U.S. As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), even low-intensity smokers are at an increased risk of an early death.
If you know someone addicted to any substance, including cigarettes, get in touch with the Arizona Detox Helpline that can assist you in finding the most effective detoxification treatment centers in Arizona. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-593-8453 or chat online with our experts to find the most comprehensive detox treatment clinic in Arizona.