March 20, 2009

Light smokers slip under research radar

U.S. researchers say light and intermittent smokers tend to fall under the research radar, despite the risk that cigarette smoke poses for them.

While one-fifth of U.S. smokers are intermittent or occasional smokers, most research and public health efforts focus on moderate to heavy smokers, the American Legacy Foundation said Friday in a release.

Researchers consider light smokers to be those who smoke fewer than 10-15 cigarettes per day.

In order to adequately address the issue of tobacco use in this country, we can not overlook light and intermittent smokers, Dr. Pebbles Fagan of the National Cancer Institute said in a statement. Research suggests an impending global pandemic of light smokers, and we must take what this paper outlines and move the agenda forward in advancing research of the full spectrum of smokers.

The findings are published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.