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New Analysis: Light and Intermittent Smokers Overlooked in Traditional Tobacco Research
Date:3/20/2009

ey represent an increasing percentage of the smoking population."

The articles examine:

Smoking Patterns - Light and intermittent smoking is more prevalent among African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian American and Pacific Islanders compared with Whites. Those aged 20-34 were more likely than adults aged 35-50 to smoke five or fewer cigarettes per day; male smokers were significantly less likely to have light daily consumption; smokers with lower levels of education were more likely to consume a pack or more per day compared to those who had graduated from college.

Trends - Light and intermittent adolescents are an unstable group of smokers. Data indicate that among 12th grade light and intermittent smokers who were followed over time, less than half were found to still be light and intermittent smokers two years post-high school. Another study that examined U.S. trends in smoking from 1991-2002 found that among very light smokers, smoking prevalence declined at all levels among Americans who are more than 30 years old, while light and intermittent smoking between those aged 18-29 increased. Another interesting trend examined the association between light smoking and tobacco control policies. Young adults in states with strong policies were more likely to be light smokers, and there was a higher prevalence of light and intermittent smoking in young people with smoke-free homes

Addiction - Two studies in the issue examine the relationship between cigarette consumption and addiction. Adolescent very light smokers (less than five cigarettes per day), demonstrate no significant withdrawal symptoms after 24 hours without nicotine, while those adolescents consuming four to five cigarettes per day had subjective symptoms of withdrawal. A sub-group of Hispanic/Latino smokers who were studied demonstrated that, despite significant differences on dependence and withdrawal,
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SOURCE American Legacy Foundation
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