-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
MONDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers who light up right
after they wake up in the morning may be at greater risk for lung,
head and neck cancers than those who wait longer before having
their first cigarette of the day, a new study finds.
The study was released online Aug. 8 in advance of publication
in an upcoming print issue of the journal
"These smokers have higher levels of nicotine and possibly other tobacco toxins in their body, and they may be more addicted than smokers who refrain from smoking for a half hour or more," said Joshua Muscat, of Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, in a journal news release. "It may be a combination of genetic and personal factors that cause a higher dependence to nicotine."
In the study, researchers compared 4,775 lung cancer patients
with 2,835 smokers who didn't have cancer. They found that those
who smoked 31 to 60 minutes after waking up were 1.3 times more
likely to develop lung cancer than those who waited at least an
hour before lighting up. Meanwhile, those who smoked within 30
minutes of waking up were 1.79 times more likely to develop lung
In a separate analysis, the investigators compared 1,055 smokers
with head and neck cancer with 795 smokers without the disease.
Those who smoked 31 to 60 minutes after waking up were 1.42 times
more likely to develop cancer than those who waited more than 60
minutes to have a cigarette. Smokers who had their first cigarette
within a half hour of waking up were 1.59 times more likely to
develop head and neck cancer.
The findings suggest the desire to have a cigarette immediately
after waking up may increase smokers' risk for cancer, the
researchers concluded. As a result, these smokers would benefit
from smoking cessation programs that specifically target this early
morning behavior and the greater risks involved, they added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides
more information on the
health effects of smoking.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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