Low-Tar Cigarettes Aren't Any Better for You

By: Daniel K. Hoh
By: Daniel K. Hoh

Smokers who think low-tar cigarettes are less hazardous to their health have now been proven wrong.

A new study in the British Medical Journal confirms what experts have long suspected. Study results show smokers of low-tar, or light and ultra light, cigarettes have the same risk of getting lung cancer as those who smoke conventional, or medium, cigarettes.

Pam Smith, RN runs a Cooper Clayton smoking cessation class at Greenview Regional Hospital and says some smokers try to quit with low-tar.

"Our participants have usually tried various methods of stopping smoking," Smith says.

"Using the low-tar cigarettes, you know, or just rationing cigarettes throughout the day."

She says these methods tend not to work. Instead, Smith believes a support group like the one she runs is the best way to help kick the habit.

Cooper Clayton smoking cessation classes are held at several locations in Bowling Green throughout the year.

To find out more, you can call these numbers:

Pam Smith at Greenview Regional Hospital 270-793-5160
The Medical Center's Health and Wellness Center 270-745-1010
Barren River District Health Department 270-781-8039

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Overview of Tobacco Use

  • Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $50 billion in direct medical costs.

  • Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires combined.

  • Nationally, smoking results in more than 5 million years of potential life lost each year.

  • Approximately 80 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers.

  • More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents, the decision to smoke cigarettes.

  • Approximately 10 million people in the United States have died from smoking-attributable causes. Two million of those deaths, more than the population of Houston, have been from lung cancer alone.

  • American smokers have consumed 17 trillion cigarettes. If laid end to end, those cigarettes would cover 900 million miles (a distance long enough to circle the Earth and Jupiter in certain alignments) or circle the earth at the equator more than 36,000 times.

  • Almost two million Americans have not died from smoking-attributable diseases as a result of decisions they have made to not start or to discontinue smoking.

  • About 48 million American adults smoke, but approximately 42 million more would have smoked without smoking prevention activities.

    Source: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/overview/30yrs2t.htm (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).


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