A recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, has found that smokers who use the lowest amount of nicotine can also have the highest lung cancer rates.
Researchers looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found that the average nicotine intake for current and former smokers was less than half the recommended daily intake of 15 mg.
In addition, the research showed that the people who used the lowest nicotine levels were most likely to be smokers with elevated levels of both smoking and nicotine addiction.
“People who use nicotine more than what’s considered a healthy amount are more likely to have high lung cancer risk,” said lead author Lina G. Chiu, an assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“That’s a very important finding, because the amount of cigarettes smoked is associated with lung cancer.”
The findings suggest that while the levels of high-nicotine cigarettes are typically higher than those of low-nickel cigarettes, they are also higher than the levels associated with the risk of lung cancer.
In other words, the amount that people smoke is not the only factor that influences the risk.
For example, people who smoke more than a cigarette daily are more at risk of developing lung cancer than those who smoke less than a daily dose, and people who use a lot of nicotine are more than twice as likely to develop lung cancer as those who do not use much.
The study, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, is the first to examine the relationship between nicotine and lung cancer in current smokers.
“This study provides the first evidence that a daily consumption of 15-20 mg nicotine is associated, at least in part, with increased risk of cancer,” said Chiu.
“The results also indicate that the risk is higher among people who were previously diagnosed with lung disease and are still smoking cigarettes.”
This is a developing story.
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