Is the Timing of the First Cigarette of the Day Associated with Lung Cancer Risk?


A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concluded that the timing of the first cigarette of the day may be associated with getting lung cancer in both heavy and light smokers. This factor may be added to standard markers of nicotine dependence that include cigarettes smoked daily, duration of smoking, and cumulative exposure (pack years). Researchers analyzed data on 3249 ever smokers of which 1812 were lung cancer patients.  Those without lung cancer in the sample served as controls and were matched by residence, sex, and age. . The research question was “How soon after you wake up do you usually smoke your first cigarette of the day?” Responses were categorized as: 5 or fewer, 6 to 30 minutes, 31 to 60 minutes and more than 60 minutes. After controlling for smoking intensity, duration and other cancer risk factors, the cancer risk was significantly higher for those who had their first cigarette within a shorter time of rising when compared to those who smoked their first cigarette after 1 hour. This relationship held for both light and heavy smokers, and for current and past smokers but not different between men and women. Researchers concluded that although the data support a signicantly higher risk of lung cancer for those who smoke sooner upon arising there is need for more research to validate these findings.


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