Am I At An Increased Risk Of Developing Heart Disease If I Smoke Two Cigarettes A Day?
Dr. Krumholz answers the question: 'Will Two Cigarettes A Day Increase Risk?'
— -- Question: Am I At An Increased Risk Of Developing Heart Disease If I Smoke Two Cigarettes A Day?
Answer: Some people think that, well, if they smoke in a certain way or if they smoke only a small number of cigarettes, or what if they smoke low tar and nicotine cigarettes, then they can alleviate some of this risk of cigarette smoking. I think it's very clear that there is no safe level of smoking. There is a study from Norway a couple years ago that indicated that people who smoked as few as one to four cigarettes a day had a substantially increased risk. It wasn't that much different from people who smoked more, and these low tar and nicotine cigarettes, which wasn't exactly part of the question, but is an important piece also, there is no evidence that it mitigates, it lessens, the risk at all.
So, there really is no safe level of smoking. There's no safe cigarette. You're really not doing yourself a favor even in cutting down on cigarettes. The whole point is: get off them. If you want to reduce your risk, if you want to help yourself with regard to heart disease, you've got to find a way to get off cigarettes, and we've got to work harder to prevent people from starting the habit, because once started, it is difficult to quit, and it takes a lot of determination, but from a risk point of view, it is worth it.
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