Health

New Research Says Light Smoking Is Almost As Harmful As Heavy Smoking

About 40 million adults in America smoke nicotine. A 2013 study called that damage that it causes to the lungs “multidimensional.” It said that smoking was the most consistent cause that chipped in lung disease. Of all its users, tobacco kills half. Though the health industry has been fighting the selling of cigarettes, the tobacco industry continues to make millions from it.

Many people believe that if they smoke less, but often their health wouldn’t be as adversely affected. However, a new study debunks this. Researchers from the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons have found that smoking five or less cigarettes in a day has long-term detrimental impacts on the lungs.

Diving Into The Research Work

According this this study, smoking less cigarettes doesn’t mean that the act doesn’t damage the lungs. In fact, the difference between someone who smokes 5 or less cigarettes and some who smokes two packs in a day isn’t much.

For the purpose of this study, scientists looked at the lung function of smokers, never-smokers, and ex-smokers. Here, lung function refers to the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. With age, this functionality goes down as it is. However, it is established that smoking speeds up the decline.

The total number of people in the study amounted to above 25,000. The team of researches set the damage in lung function in never-smokers to 0. Those who smoked less than 5 cigarettes a day were considered light smokers and less than 30 a day were heavy smokers.

Findings Of The Study

The analysis of the researchers found:

  • Light smokers’ decline in lung function was closer to that of heavy smokers rather than never-smokers. The rate of decline of the former was 7.65 ml/year. Whereas the rate of decline in lung function among heavy smokers was 11.24 ml/year.
  • The amount of lung function damage that heavy smokers suffered in nine months was experienced by light smokers in a year.
  • This decline doesn’t normalize in a short time after quitting smoking. In fact, it doesn’t become normal for a minimum of 30 years though the rate of decline lowers.
  • The study also concluded that the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among light smokers is greater than previously believed.

Lead researcher of the study, Elizabeth Oelsner said, “Smoking a few cigarettes a day is much riskier than a lot of people think.” She further added, “Everyone should be strongly encouraged to quit smoking, no matter how many cigarettes per day they are using.”

Sum Up

Smoking is injurious to health – even the packet admits. Yet tobacco smoking is not uncommon. Many believe that a few cigarettes a day don’t do much damage. However, this notion is incorrect as proved by a new study.

As per this research work, the rate of decline in lung function in light smokers is close to that of heavy smokers. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that everyone must be encouraged to quit smoking.