Posts Tagged ‘Casual smoking risk in young women’

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It's still considered cool and sexy.  The Telegraph.co

It’s still considered cool and sexy. The Telegraph.co

TIME link on women smokers

TIME (7/16, Furman) reports a new study indicates that “for a large swath of young American women, light smoking is growing in popularity.” The study, published in Preventing Chronic Disease, “analyzed a sample of 9,789 women between ages 18 and 25 from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health,” who were then asked “if they had smoked part or all of a cigarette in the past 30 days; those who said they had were classified as current smokers, while those who hadn’t, but had smoked previously, were considered ‘former’ smokers.” The results showed that “while heavy smoking—a pack a day—has decreased in the U.S….27% of all people in the study—and 62% of the current smokers—identified as very light smokers, a habit of five or fewer cigarettes a day.”

Blogfinger Medical Commentary:    Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC.

In medical school in the mid-1960’s, I saw people smoking all over the hospitals and even in patient rooms.  When we had “chart rounds” at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, the door was shut, and the room was filled with smoke due to cigarettes and pipes.  In fact, a survey at that time showed that “more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”  In 1964, the Surgeon General issued his first report on “Smoking and Health.”

When we were preparing our prevention book, I was interested in all cardiac risk factors, but smoking was very high on the list of risky behaviors.  We wrote that the risk correlated with the amount smoked.  I always included in my lectures that even one cigarette per day carried an increased risk compared to none.

This study from the University of Texas  looks at nearly 10,000 young women, 18-25,  and their habit of “light” or “casual” smoking.  Some call it “smoking while drunk.”   27% of the study population smoked “lightly,”  and many think that light smoking is safe.    The authors say that “even a very light habit isn’t safe.”

This evaluation doesn’t look at risk, but you can connect the dots between these findings and known risk from light smoking.

It’s been long known that stopping smoking reduces risk, although it never goes down to zero.  Chronic smoking, light or heavy, takes a long term toll, but a smoker will be safer if he/she stops.

Over the years many smokers, including most physicians, gave up the habit.  But the current report raises some concerns regarding increased cigarette smoking among young women. I recommend that you click on the link above to read the TIME article.     It is brief but has some very interesting practical information as well as an old video.

NIKKI LONEY  has some advice for young women.  She says that love can’t be trusted, so don’t let smoke get in your eyes.

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