Despite a trend that’s currently undergoing among young women, studies report that “very light smoking” is still very harmful and the risks should not be underestimated. Many ads and campaigns pop up every day against the dangers of smoking, but not all possible consequences are known.
Just because the frequency of enjoying a cigarette is low does not mean the risk is eliminated. Whether accompanied by a coffee or while heavy drinking, young adults are discouraged from indulging in even a small part of the vice.
The survey saw to questioning nearly 98,000 women between the ages of 18 and 25 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2014. Among the criteria used to investigate the depth of nicotine dependence, researchers also asked the participants about past psychological distress and depressions.
Out all the young women polled, almost 42% were non-smokers and never was, 28% used to be smokers (meaning that they claimed not to have had a cigarette in the past 30 days) and the rest 30% were current smokers. For the study, they separated the latter group under other three classifications: very light smokers (between 1 and 5 cigarettes per day), light smokers (between 6-16 cigarettes per day) and heavy smokers (more than 16 cigarettes per day).
The study found that 60% described themselves as “very light” smokers, though interestingly, they had the biggest percentage of being intermittent smokers, defined by study parameters as lighting up a cigarette once every two days or more.
The average of very light smokers tended to be women between the ages of 18 and 20, unmarried, college educated or college applicants. Researchers have also found that they were just as likely to have gone through psychological distress or depression at some point during their life as heavy smokers.
It is the path that leads to heavy smoking in spite of confidence that they can quit whenever they wish. The vice is told by doctors not to be underestimated and they emphasize that the risk of even very light smoking increases the chance of heart disease three times over, along with other conditions such as lung cancer.
What was also worrying was that “very light” smokers did not even categorize themselves as such, and doctors are being warned to switch their method of inquiring. Most question whether the patient “has had tobacco in the last 30 days” or not, due to misinformation. Light smokers are prone to not classifying themselves as smokers before examinations.
The average of cigarette smoking has decreased in the last couple of years, but the number of “very light” smokers has apparently shot up. The findings indicate that among campaigns encouraging to smokers to quit, there is an equal need for anti-smoking organizations to discourage picking up smoking as a habit in the first place.
Image source: zmescience.com