Addicted smokers sometimes switch to lower tar cigarettes in hopes of continuing with their habit and hoping to not experience the consequences of higher tar cigarettes.
Non-filter cigarettes make up less than 1 percent of sales in the United States and United Kingdom. A new study shows the risk for lung cancer is the same for people who smoke medium-tar cigarettes, low-tar cigarettes, or very-low-tar cigarettes.
Researchers sampled nearly 364,000 men and 577,000 women and studied the relation between the tar rating in the cigarettes they smoked in 1982 and death from lung cancer over six years.
Those who smoked very-low-tar (7 milligrams or less) and low-tar (8 to 14 milligrams) cigarettes faced the same risk of lung cancer as smokers who used medium-tar (15 to 21 milligrams) brands. Factors such as demographics, diet, occupational and medical histories did not affect the data.
People who smoked non-filtered cigarettes with tar ratings of 22 milligrams or more had higher risks of lung cancer.
Researchers concluded that people who smoked any brand of tar cigarettes faced a higher risk of lung cancer than those who had never smoked or who had quit.