There’s bad news for people who think it’s safe to smoke a few cigarettes a day or even a week: They face a substantially higher risk of earlier death compared with people who don’t smoke, according to a study published Monday.
The National Cancer Institute study found that people who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day over their lifetimes had a 64 percent higher risk of earlier death. Those who smoked one to 10 cigarettes a day had an 87 percent greater risk.
The link to lung cancer was especially high. The group that smoked less than one cigarette a day over their lifetimes had nine times as high a risk of dying from the disease than nonsmokers, while those who smoked one to 10 cigarettes a day had a 12-fold increased risk.
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