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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has concluded that light cigarettes provide no benefit to smokers' health.
According to the NCI monograph "Risks Associated with Smoking Cigarettes with Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine," people who switch to light cigarettes from regular cigarettes are likely to inhale the same amount of hazardous chemicals, and they remain at high risk for developing smoking-related cancers and other diseases.
Researchers also found that the strategies used by the tobacco industry to advertise and promote light cigarettes are intended to reassure smokers, to discourage them from quitting, and to lead consumers to perceive filtered and light cigarettes as safer alternatives to regular cigarettes. There is also no evidence that switching to light or ultra-light cigarettes actually helps smokers quit.
Furthermore, the tobacco industry's own documents show that companies are aware that smokers of light cigarettes compensate by taking bigger puffs. Industry documents also show that the companies are aware of the difference between machine-measured yields of tar and nicotine and what the smoker actually inhales.
There is no such thing as a safe cigarette. The only proven way to reduce the risk of smoking-related disease is to quit smoking completely.
Smokers who quit live longer than those who continue to smoke. In addition, the earlier smokers quit, the greater the health benefit. Research has shown that people who quit before age 30 eliminate almost all of their risk of developing a tobacco-related disease. Even smokers who quit at age 50 reduce their risk of dying from a tobacco-related disease.