Smokers who cut down on smoking are in for self-deception. So say researchers at Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Carrying out the study, the researchers revealed that those who reduce smoking quickly often alter their smoking mannerisms to compensate for reduced tobacco.
Ironically in the process they sometime land up consuming more smoke, carbon monoxide, nicotine and other cancer causing ingredients."The human body really is a miracle. It knows when it is not getting what it's used to, and it automatically does something about it," Karen Ahijevych, an associate professor of nursing and a member of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, said.
Researchers have discovered that, generally, when women restrict smoking they take larger drags and smoked more of the cigarette before putting it out. Also, when smoking fewer cigarettes, women produced more CO in their exhaled air per cigarette, compared to when they smoked their regular number of cigarettes or increased use.
Ahijevych studied 25 women over six days in varying smoking situations. and observed the way the women smoked measuring things like, the number and size of the puffs per cigarette, the length of time between puffs and how much of the cigarette was smoked before it was extinguished.
Higher CO and nicotine boosts were especially pronounced among women who were defined as efficient smokers.
"We were surprised at how much the very efficient smokers could increase their levels of CO and nicotine even further. And the interesting thing is that most of these women were totally unaware that they were changing the way they were smoking to make up for fewer cigarettes," Ahijevych said.
"There are a lot of social pressures on smokers to quit these days. Workplaces and restaurants are increasingly adopting bans on smoking, and we know that as taxes on tobacco increase, sales drop off. Millions of people want to quit and they often see cutting back as the first step in a long-term strategy. Unfortunately, our research suggests that this may be giving them a false sense of security," Ahijevych added.
"The bottom line for smokers is to be aware that just because they smoke 12 cigarettes a day instead of 20 doesn't mean that they are less dependent on tobacco. As clinicians, we need to understand that a person who smokes half a pack a day may be just as dependent as a person who smokes a whole lot more, and may need an equally aggressive treatment plan," cautions Ahijevych. (ANI)
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