Although many people think that smoking is not dangerous if they smoke just a few cigarettes once in a while, recent research suggests that these people have a higher risk of suffering a premature death.
Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) underline that any exposure to the harmful tobacco smoke makes people more vulnerable to lung cancer. Maki Inoue-Choi, the lead researcher of the latest study, says that there is no such thing as safe smoking.
The scientists analyzed more than 290,000 older American adults aged 59 to 82 years to establish which were the detrimental effects of light smoking among the participants. It is worth mentioning that light smokers are those who smoke between one and ten cigarettes a day.
The subjects were asked about their smoking habits at nine different points during their lifetime, between the ages of 15 and 70 years. Those who smoked a median of less than one cigarette a day had a 64 percent higher risk of dying early.
Also, those who smoked between one and ten cigarettes a day had an 87 percent higher risk of dying early, according to the study findings. Nevertheless, the scientists noted that smoking cessation reduced the life-threatening consequences of smoking on the participants.
More precisely, those who smoked a median of less than one cigarette a day were nine times more prone to suffer a premature death compared to former light smokers. The rates were even higher in the case of those who smoked between one and ten cigarettes a day during their lifetime as they were twelve times more prone to suffer a premature death due to a smoking-related condition.
In addition, the likelihood of death due to respiratory illnesses was up to six times higher in those who smoked between one and ten cigarettes a day, while they also had a 1.5 times higher risk of dying due to heart disease compared to those who never smoked.
Public health specialists stress that smoking is the top preventable death cause in the world as it is responsible for the death of roughly 500,000 Americans every year. Worse, over six million people die every year due to smoking-related conditions.
Scientists emphasize that second-hand smoking is very dangerous as well because the toxic smoke contains at least 61 carcinogens. Plus, it lingers in the air although it becomes odorless and invisible in less than a minute.
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