remain despite reduced cigarette consumption
Cancer Information Network
Posting Date: February 11, 2004
York (The Cancer Information Network) -- Simply reducing
tobacco consumption will not rid the body of cancer-causing
toxins, according to the results of a study recently published
in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
findings suggest that cessation is the only proven way of
reducing the risk of lung cancer.
Roughly 90 percent of all lung cancer cases may be
traced to smoking, which is also the leading cause of heart
led by Dr. Stephen Hecht of the University of Minnesota Cancer
Center studied 92 smokers over a six-month period.
The participants, who on average smoked 23.7 cigarettes
a day, systematically reduced their tobacco intake to 25%
fewer cigarettes during the first two weeks, 50% less the
following two weeks, and 75% less later on if they could do
level of toxins was then measured through urine tests that
focused on by-products of NNK, a well-known carcinogen in
tobacco smoke. The
results revealed a reduction in toxins far less in proportion
to the reduction in tobacco consumption.
tests showed, for instance, that even smokers who had reduced
their smoking by 55% to 90% experienced an NNK reduction of
only 27% to 51%. Smokers who had managed to keep their consumption down to
just two cigarettes a day experienced an NNK reduction of only
cited the possibility of "compensation" with smokers
changing their smoking habits, like dragging longer and harder
on the cigarette, to make up for the reduction in cigarette
study likewise illustrated the difficulties smokers experience
when trying to kick the habit. About 56 % of the participants were back to a pack or more a
day some six months into the study.