Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has indicated smokers, smoking the so-called light cigarettes are half as likely to quit than other smokers.
Researchers in the US believe that the false perception of reduced health risks due to the supposedly low-tar and low-nicotine brands might be a major factor. Their study indicates that almost one third of the people smoking lights had chosen these brands in the belief that these types of cigarettes reduce their health risks.
The authors of the study have reported their findings in the American Journal of Public Health, and have warned that those smokers are actually increasing their health risks with the 'light brands.' The study that was conducted on more than
12,000 smokers showed that those who used light cigarettes were about 50% less likely to quit than other normal cigarette smokers.
Researchers have stated that though light cigarettes did contain less tar and nicotine they are also linked to smoking-related diseases such as cancer. Sources at the National Cancer Institute, have explained that people who smoke light cigarettes are likely to inhale the same amount of dangerous chemicals as they try and inhale deeper to get enough smoke for satisfactory nicotine 'hit'. And so they do remain at a high risk of developing diseases related to smoking.
Health experts have also stated that the only way to reduce the risks on health would be to quit smoking altogether. Stating that most of the light smokers in the study were women, the research team have said that their findings apply to about 30 million US adult smokers who smoke light cigarettes.
The author Dr Hilary Tindle said: "Even though smokers may hope to reduce their health risks by smoking lights, the results suggest they are doing just the opposite because they are significantly reducing their chances of quitting. Moreover, as they get older their chances of quitting become more and more diminished." She stressed on the importance of accurate information on associated health risks that should be given to all smokers.
It was explained that while there was no law in the US, there is an European law in existence that bans misleading descriptions like 'Light' & 'Mild' on all cigarettes sold in the European union. Amanda Sandford, with the 'Action on Smoking and Health,' said that a previous research in the UK had supported findings of the study in US. She said, "It's not surprising that even though logically people know that all smoking is harmful, the power of marketing is such that many people would be conned into thinking the so-called lower tar or light brands are less dangerous. All cigarettes are deadly."