Bad news for anyone who smokes even just one cigarette a day
It looks like you're only fooling yourselves, if this report is to be trusted.
If you smoke just one cigarette a day, your chances of getting a heart attack or a stroke are only half of those of somebody who smokes as many as 20 a day.
A report from Allan Hackshaw, a professor at University College London, claims that your chances of contracting lung cancer are reduced significantly if you cut down to just one a day.
However, the risks of heart problems and stroke are only half of those who smoke a full pack a day, according to Hackshaw's research.
“If someone smokes one cigarette instead of 20 per day, intuitively we’d think that the risk drops to 1/20, or 5%,” he told AFP.
“This seems to be the case for lung cancer, but is not true for heart attacks and stroke, where one cigarette per day carries around 50% of the risk of a pack a day."
Of the seven million people who die from tobacco-related illnesses worldwide on an annual basis, two million die from heart attacks and strokes.
While he insisted that the only way to undo the damage caused by smoking was to quit completely, Hackshaw - who led a group of scientists in research the effects of smoking one, five or 20 cigarettes a day - did say that cutting down was far from useless and could lead to a complete cessation down the line.
“There is more reason to believe that lower cigarette consumption will reduce the risk of chronic lung disease and lung cancer, the other two big causes of early death from smoking,” he said via Britain’s Science Media Centre.