People who smoke one cigarette a day or less still have greater odds of dying earlier than those who don’t smoke at all, according to a new study released in JAMA Internal Medicine journal Monday. Researchers from the National Cancer Institute conducted the study that analyzed the effects of low-intensity smoking compared to mortality rates for people who don’t smoke.
After reviewing more than 290,000 people, some of whom had never smoked cigarettes, the researchers found that even those who had only smoked just one cigarette a day or less during their lifetime still had a significantly higher mortality rate compared to those who did not. Once-a-day smokers had a 64 percent chance of early death, while those who smoked up to half a pack a day on average over a lifetime had an 87 percent chance.
The study also examined the likelihood of developing lung cancer among people who smoked at low rates, or no more than one cigarette per day, and found that they were nine times more likely to die from lung cancer compared to those who never smoked. People who smoked between one and 10 cigarettes a day were 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer.