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News: November 30, 2009

Switching to Light Cigarettes Will Not help you Quit Smoking

November 30, 2009

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) says that there are 44 million American smokers and many of these smokers are looking for ways to quit. Some smokers in an attempt to kick the habit are switching to "light" or "ultra light" to help their battle against nicotine, however, a new study suggests switching to a lighter cigarerette does not help.

A newly published study published in the November 2009 issue of Tobacco Control, analyzed survey data from about 31,000 smokers who were asked whether they had switched to a milder or low-tar brand of cigarettes and the reasons for the switch. It was discovered that smokers who switched from full flavor cigarettes for cigarettes that are lighter, made more attempts to kick the habit than other smokers who did not switch.

"It may be that smokers think that a lighter brand is better for their health and is therefore an acceptable alternative to giving up completely," Dr. Hilary Tindle of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who led the study.

A quarter of the people in the study said they switched because of flavor but nearly 20 percent said they had switched for better flavor and the desire to smoke a less harmful cigarette, and as part of an effort to stop smoking completely.

Tindle's team discovered that those who switched to lighter brands were 58 percent more likely to have tried to quit smoking between 2002 and 2003 than those who stuck with their brand. But they were 60 percent less likely to actually succeed in quitting.

"Forty-three percent of smokers reported a desire to quit smoking as a reason for switching to lighter cigarettes. While these individuals were the most likely to make an attempt, ironically, they were the least likely to quit smoking," Tindle said. Other research has shown that so-called low-tar cigarettes have just as much tar, nicotine and other compounds as regular cigarettes.

Switching to light cigarettes will not help you quit smoking, however, there are many safe products on the market and alternative therapies that can help smokers kick the habit.

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.

Tucson, Arizona

Exclusive to eMaxHealth




Archive issues: (50)

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November 29, 2009 | Rituximab May Offer Hope To Severe Graves' Eye Disease Patients

There may be hope for patients with severe Graves' eye disease in the form of treatment with the drug rituximab.  This news comes from U-M Kellogg Eye Center who's oculoplastics specialist Raymond S. Douglas, M.D., Ph.D. reports on the potential of the drug in the online October issue of Ophthalmology.  Graves' eye disease is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and fatty deposits in the eye muscles and connective tissue surrounding the ...

November 28, 2009 | New guidelines urged for H1N1 protection among healthcare employees

Infectious disease experts are calling for a moratorium on OSHA guidelines for health care employees that require the use of fit-tested N95 respirators for personal protection from H1N1 flu. Three leading infectious disease organizations, have written a letter to President ...

November 27, 2009 | Air Pollution Raises Infants' Risk of Bronchiolitis

Infants who are exposed to higher levels of air pollution, including vehicle and industrial emissions and wood smoke, are at increased risk for bronchiolitis. The study is unique because it evaluated multiple sources of air pollution and their impact on infants' health.  Bronchiolitis is a common illness of the respiratory tract that is caused by an ...

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