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You may think that "light" cigarettes aren't as bad as regular cigarettes. Think again! Light cigarettes put smokers at the same risk for smoking-related health problems as regular cigarettes.
Some cigarette packs say that light cigarettes have lower tar and nicotine. Don't let these claims fool you! Tobacco companies use smoking machines to figure out the amount of tar and nicotine in the cigarettes. These machines "smoke" every brand of cigarettes the same way. However, people don't smoke cigarettes the same way machines do. People who smoke light cigarettes may inhale more deeply, take more puffs, or smoke extra cigarettes to satisfy their nicotine craving. As a result, they may inhale just as much tar, nicotine, and other chemicals as people who smoke regular cigarettes.
Explore other publications and websites
The Dark Side of Your Light Cigarettes (Copyright © New York State Smokers' Quitline) — This publication explains why smoking light cigarettes is not less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes.
Questions About Smoking, Tobacco, and Health (Copyright © American Cancer Society) — This publication answers common questions about health and tobacco use. It provides information on the various health effects of smoking, addiction, and the harmful chemicals cigarettes contain.
The Truth About "Light" Cigarettes: Questions and Answers — This publication debunks the myth that "light" cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. It provides information on the health effects of smoking "light" cigarettes in comparison to regular cigarettes and explains how cigarettes are given a "light" rating. Resources to help smokers quit are also provided.
What's So Bad About Tobacco? (Copyright © American Cancer Society) — This Internet Site provides fact sheets about various forms of tobacco use. Included is information on the health impact of tobacco on women and children specifically.
Connect with other organizations
American Lung Association
National Cancer Institute, NIH
Office on Smoking and Health, CDC
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Smokefree Women, CDC and NCI, NIH, HHS
Content last updated May 19, 2010.
Resources last updated May 19, 2010.
A federal government website managed by the Office on Women's Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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