By Joe Elia
NEJM Journal Review
Smoking cigarettes — even one or less per day — is associated with increased mortality risk, a JAMA Network Open study shows.
Researchers combined data from several federal smoking surveys performed between 1992 and 2011. In those surveys, some 500,000 adults reported their smoking histories. National mortality data showed that, compared with never-smokers, daily smokers (averaging 600 cigarettes per month) bore a 2.3-fold higher all-cause mortality risk, with non-daily smokers (averaging 40 per month) sustaining a 1.8-fold higher risk.
Heightened mortality risks became apparent even at levels of 6 to 10 cigarettes per month.
The researchers conclude: “Thus, all smokers should quit, regardless of how infrequently they smoke.”