Cutting down cigarettes does not reduce health risk
Nov 28, 2006 - 6:29:34 PM

London, Nov 28 - Heavy smokers who halve their daily cigarette intake hoping to minimise health risks may not get any benefit, says a study.

A Norwegian study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, looked into more than 51,000 men and women aged between 20 and 34. It found stubbing out was the only way to cut the risk, reported the online edition of BBC News.

There is evidence to show that smoking just one to four cigarettes a day increased the risk of dying from heart disease dramatically, researcher Kjell Bjartveit said.

'It is widespread to offer smokers a last resort: 'If you are unable to quit, cut down',' Bjartveit said.

'In our opinion, this advice may offer people false expectations. There is only one safe way out: To quit smoking entirely.'

A separate study in the same journal found that pregnant smokers may 'programme' their children to take up the habit.

The Australian study of more than 3,000 mothers compared the smoking patterns of their children when they reached the age of 21.

Children whose mothers had smoked while pregnant were almost three times as likely to start smoking regularly at or before the age of 14, and around twice as likely to start smoking after this age, than those whose mothers were non-smokers.

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