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Health Tip: 'Light' Cigarettes Aren't Safer

Lower tar and nicotine numbers are misleading, National Cancer Institute says

(HealthDay News) -- "Light," "mild" or "low-tar" cigarettes are sometimes billed as healthier for people who don't quit.

But these cigarettes do nothing for a smoker's health, the U.S. National Cancer Institute says. The NCI offers the following information:

  • People who smoke light cigarettes are still at risk for serious health problems, including lung cancer.
  • Nicotine-craving smokers of light cigarettes actually may inhale more deeply, take larger or more rapid puffs, or smoke extra cigarettes to get enough nicotine.
  • Smoking machines that measure tar and nicotine intake often do not accurately emulate a person who smokes.
  • There is no evidence that switching to light cigarettes helps smokers quit.
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