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Smoking soon after waking raises risk of lung and head and neck cancers
Date:8/25/2011

d of getting cancer. "These smokers have higher levels of nicotine and possibly other tobacco toxins in their body, and they may be more addicted than smokers who refrain from smoking for a half hour or more," said Joshua Muscat, PhD, of the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey and first author. "It may be a combination of genetic and personal factors that cause a higher dependence to nicotine."

Dr. Steven D. Stellman, professor of clinical epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and director of the overall research program under which the data were gathered, stated, "Our finding that time to first cigarette raises the risk of cancer is the latest in a long series of studies that grew directly out of Dr. Ernst Wynder's work, published in JAMA in 1950, which first described the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Research has steadily expanded our knowledge of the hazards of tobacco use."

According to the authors, because smokers who light up first thing in the morning are a group that is at even higher risk of developing cancer than other smokers, they would benefit from targeted smoking cessation programs. Such interventions could help reduce tobacco's negative health effects as well as the costs associated with its use.


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Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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