Navigation Links
Switch to 'Light' Cigarettes Makes Quitting Tougher

Smokers may mistakenly believe they're 'healthier,' researchers say

TUESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Experts have long known that "low-tar" and "light" cigarettes aren't any healthier than regular cigarettes, and new research suggests they have another drawback: People who switch to them are less likely to quit, even those who switch specifically because they want to stop smoking.

In fact, "switching to ['light' cigarettes] for any reason is associated with continuing to smoke," said study author Dr. Hilary Tindle, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh's Division of General Internal Medicine.

However, she acknowledged that the research does not prove that switching leads directly to a lower rate of quitting.

According to the authors, an estimated 84 percent of cigarettes sold in the United States are so-called low-tar and low-nicotine, with many of them called "lights." Some smokers may assume they're healthier than other cigarettes, but medical researchers say smokers still suck in about the same level of carcinogens. And research has shown that "lighter" cigarettes don't reduce smoking-related illness and death.

Regardless of what brand they smoke, "the average smoker dies 13 to 14 years earlier than he or she would die if he or she did not smoke," Tindle said.

In the new study, published online Nov. 3 in the journal Tobacco Control, researchers examined the results of a 2003 survey of 30,800 people in the United States who had smoked within the past year. Thirty-eight percent of them had switched to "lighter" cigarettes, with the largest percentage of those -- 26 percent -- saying they'd done so for better flavor. Forty-three percent mentioned one, two or three reasons for switching, with quitting smoking being one of those reasons.

However, those who had switched were 46 percent less likely to have quit smoking.

Why might switchers be more likely to continue smoking? "Prior research suggests that switching may resolve smokers' cognitive dissonance about smoking -- something along the lines of, 'Well, since I'm smoking a [supposedly] healthier cigarette, I really don't have to worry about lung cancer, heart disease, impotence, wrinkles, early death [fill in the blank] because my health is not at risk,'" Tindle said. "This type of rationale may keep more health-conscious smokers smoking."

But there are other possible explanations, added Robert West, a researcher who studies tobacco use at University College London in England. It's possible, for example, that people who switch are already more dependent on cigarettes and less able to quit, he said.

What to do? "In Europe, tobacco companies are not allowed to call cigarettes low tar or imply that they are in any way safer," West said.

Regardless of how cigarettes are marketed, Tindle said, "the best solution for the problem of how to live longer and healthier is to quit smoking now."

In related news, a study published Nov. 3 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health finds that smoking during pregnancy is linked to a higher level of behavioral problems in offspring later in life, even among those as young as 3.

A team from the University of York in the England tracked 14,000 mother-and-child pairs and found that maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with significantly higher odds for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral woes, compared to children born to nonsmoking mothers.

More information

Find out more about smoking and its consequences at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Hilary Tindle, M.D., MPH, researcher, Center for Research on Healthcare, division of general internal medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Robert West, Ph.D., Health Behavior Research Center, department of epidemiology and public health, University College London, U.K.; Nov. 3, 2009, Tobacco Control, online

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Schizophrenia Gene May Have On/Off Switch
2. Brain Switch Helps Doctors Deal With Patients Pain
3. Switching to MA Coverage Unlikely for Current Beneficiaries With MediGap or Medicare Only
4. Scientists Spot Eye Development Switch
5. A molecular switch is linked to a common breast cancer
6. Researchers identify unusual molecular switch for common form of advanced breast cancer
7. Cell Structure Helps Direct Cancer Gene Switch
8. Childrens Hospital researchers identify molecular switch that could save very young lives
9. Protein-dependent switch regulates intracellular trafficking in epithelial cells
10. Switch for Internal Body Clock Found
11. Women With IBS Unable to Switch Off Pain Response
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, ... its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites ... Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever ... Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation ... as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a ... Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at ... returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen ... and manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical ... that Bill Messer has joined the ... further leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... and Markets has announced the addition of the ... their offering. ... products and provides an updated review, including its applications ... covering the total market, which includes three main industries: ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: