Don’t “Light” Up

Light cigarettes may not be lighter on your lungs than regular cigarettes.

By Lindsay Miller from Reader's Digest | February 2007

Think light smokes are healthier than regular ones? They’re not, according to new research, and may actually make kicking the habit even harder.

When people smoke lights, they often inhale more deeply and vigorously, and puff on more cigarettes. They also tend to smoke past the filter, which is there to limit the intake of carcinogens. Both habits undermine the purported benefits of lights. Even worse, researchers at Harvard and the University of Pittsburgh found that light smokers are less likely to quit. Why? Perhaps it’s because they think they’re getting lower levels of tar and nicotine, says lead author Hilary Tindle, MD.

Another multicenter study found that those who smoke menthols are also less likely to quit. Menthol may inhibit the way we metabolize nicotine, so it stays in the body longer. This may even create a stronger chance of addiction.

Ready to quit? Talk to your doc for help.

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