More Young Women Opting for “Light Smoking”

smokingA new study  concluded fewer Americans are smoking. In fact, teens smoking hit a new low last year, in part due to the popularity of electronic cigarettes. The decline in cigarette smoking “is very dramatic and very encouraging,” said Robin Koval, president of Legacy, an anti-smoking organization. Besides cigarettes, the report found continuing declines in the use of cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff among high school students

However one group in the study,  young women are opting for very light smoking. Very light and intermittent smoking, using cigarettes on some days but not others, was common among the women.

Researchers looked at data from nearly 9,800 women ages 18 to 25 who took part in a federal government survey in 2011.

One expert said young women shouldn’t fool themselves into thinking light smoking is harmless. Another anti-smoking expert said very light smokers might not even consider themselves smokers at all.

“Even light smoking can triple the lifetime risk of heart disease,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “More efforts need to be directed at this cohort of emerging young women who smoke lightly,” he added.

as you might expect light smoking or daily smokers often end up smoking more over time and become heavy smokers.  While some people may be able to handle the light smoking habit, the tolerance for nicotine builds up over time and will likely require more more tobacco use as time goes on.