Heavy smokers who cut back still take in more toxins than light smokers

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University of Minnesota tobacco researchers have found that heavy smokers who reduce their number of daily cigarettes still take in two to three times more total toxins per cigarette than light smokers.

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The study, published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, cites compensatory smoking as the chief reason for the increased exposure despite decreased cigarette use.

"We found that the more that heavy smokers reduced their smoking, the more likely they were to increase their intake of toxicants per cigarette, presumably because they took more frequent puffs or inhaled deeper or longer on each cigarette to compensate for fewer cigarettes smoked," said Dorothy Hatsukami, Ph.D., lead researcher on the study. "This indicates that they are trying to maintain a specific level of nicotine in their bodies."

Hatsukami is a professor and researcher with the University of Minnesota Medical School and Cancer Center. She also directs the University

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