Will smoking 1 cigarette hurt you
Researchers warn: "There is no safe smoke level"
For a long time it was true of smoking: once is never. The health risk of one cigarette per day was estimated to be negligible. A research team led by Allan Hackshaw from the Cancer Institute at University College London has now found that just one cigarette a day significantly increases the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
For their meta-analysis, the scientists took into account the results of 141 studies on the health effects of tobacco smoke on the cardiovascular system. By evaluating the data again, they determined the relative risk associated with the daily consumption of one, five and 20 cigarettes.
Little smoke - relatively high risk
The result: anyone who lights a cigarette only once a day still bears 40 to 50 percent of the increased risk of stroke and heart disease associated with consuming a pack of cigarettes a day. In relation to 20 cigarettes, five cigarettes account for 55 to 65 percent of the increased risk.
"A large part of the health risk arises from smoking just a few cigarettes a day," conclude the study authors. In concrete figures: Not cancer, but cardiovascular diseases make up the largest proportion of premature deaths caused by smoking, at around 48 percent. The conclusion of the researchers: "There is no safe smoking level. Before smokers toy with the idea of reducing their cigarette consumption, they should better stop completely." (red, January 25, 2018)
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