Navigation Links
Switch to 'Light' Cigarettes Makes Quitting Tougher
Date:11/3/2009

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/27/2017)... ... February 27, 2017 , ... ... environs, is proud to announce an upgrade to the company's Yelp listing. Bay ... page on topics as diverse as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, hair transplantation ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... ... the lab became the world’s first to be ISO/IEC 17025:2005 INAB accredited for ... analysis. , ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is the globally recognised standard that sets out requirements ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... ... scheduling, and reporting for healthcare organizations. This comprehensive and customizable solution empowers ... process. StaffBridge technology improves staffing efficiency, maximizes resource allocation, collects critical reporting ...
(Date:2/25/2017)... ... February 25, 2017 , ... FCPX users now have the ... Pixel Film Studios. With ProSharpen Color users have total control over sharpening amount, sharpening ... color range. With color spectrum tools users can visually see the color range effected ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... education, networking and recognition opportunities as well as advocacy for the state and ... NJ on February 23. The Council's Innovation Forecast event highlights innovation throughout ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/27/2017)... Mass. , Feb. 27, 2017  Infinity Pharmaceuticals, ... at the Cowen and Company 37 th Annual ... p.m. ET in Boston, MA. ... on the Investors/Media section of Infinity,s website at ... following the event. About Infinity,Infinity is an ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... , Feb. 27, 2017  Impax Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IPXL ) ... conferences. Raymond James and Associates, 38 ... 6, 2017 in Orlando, FL. ... a.m. ET on March 7, 2017 in Boston, MA. ... March 16, 2017 in Miami, FL. ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... February 27, 2017 A recent research report ... marijuana market alone is expected to reach a value of $55.8 ... along with 28 states have legalized marijuana for medical uses. ... Florida , North Dakota , ... approved to use the drug in medical applications such as chemotherapies ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: