Can the Risk of Lung and Oral Cancer Be Increased if You Smoke Immediately Upon Waking?

logo1267406_mdNew research published in the Journal, Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention concluded that the sooner a person smokes upon waking in the morning the more likely he/she will have lung or oral cancer. Researchers reported that “smokers who consumed cigarettes immediately after waking have higher levels of NNAL-a metabolite of the tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK–in their blood than smokers who refrain from smoking a half hour or more after waking, regardless of how many cigarettes they smoke per day.”  Previous research has shown that NNK induces lung cancer in rodents and  therefore can predict lung cancer in rodents and humans. Also, he said NNAL levels are stable in smokers over time, and a single measurement can accurately reflect a persons exposure.

Data on 1,945 smoking adult participants was examined who provided urine samples for analysis of NNAL, and  history of smoking behavior including how soon after waking they smoked. Findings showed that 32% smoked their first cigarette within 5 minutes of waking; 31% smoked within 6 to 30 minutes; 18% smoked within 31 to 60 minutes after waking and 19% smoked more than an hour after waking. The NNAL level in the participants blood was correlated with their age, the age they started smoking, their gender, and whether or not another smoker lived in the house.  Researchers concluded “Most importantly, we found that NNAL level was highest among people who smoked the soonest upon waking, regardless of the frequency of smoking and other factors that predict NNAL concentrations.” They also said “We believe these people who smoke sooner after waking inhale more deeply and more thoroughly, which could explain the higher levels of NNAL in their blood, as well as their higher risk of developing oral or lung cancer.”

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