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Thread: How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?

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    How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?

    There's no "persuasive" (or unpersuasive) evidence that I know of for smoking at such a level. There have been several studies that have tried to examine long term smokers of five or fewer cigarettes per day, although I don't consider their evidence very persuasive due to usually limited size, lack of controls for likely confounders, and lack of control over subject selection/reporting. I believe such light smokers may often drink alcohol for example, or may be reporting themselves as "just three or four a day" when they may actually have a long history of smoking double or triple that amount.

    There is however some theory that might apply.

    I am thinking specifically of the "no threshold theory" of carcinogenesis. That theory holds that any level of exposure to a Class 1 human carcinogen increases your chances of cancer. Under that theory, just sticking your ungloved hand out of the mail slot to grab your morning mail would increase your chances of a slow, painful, and disfiguring death due to malignant melanoma. Drinking a liter of orange juice with its several hundred million picograms of carcinogenic ethyl alcohol might also pave your way to an early grave. Having a human being (nasty, bipedal species common to planet Terra) walk into a room and exhale a single breath of air full of bodily respiratory waste poisons and carcinogens might doom you as well.

    Do normal people worry about such things? Of course not. However thirty years ago normal people didn't worry about hanging out for hours in a smoky bar either. What we worry about in such regards is as much an effect of media propaganda and interest group spending as its an effect of scientific reality. "Tobacco Control" gets between 400 million and 900 million dollars a year just from the U.S. Master Settlement Agreement, along with an untabulated (but at my guess, several hundred million more) amount of support from Big Pharma antismoking promotion efforts and Big Charities' fundraising efforts that abuse our love of children by using antismoking imagery of "The Choking Children" to open up potential contributors' purse strings.

    Give me 500 million dollars every year for a couple of decades and I could have you quaking in your boots over that morning mail run or that glass of orange juice (and have your children taken away if you dared to introduce them to that "carcinogen-filled" morning treat!)

    Sooo... under that no threshold theory "one cigarette a day" is likely to significantly increase your chances of lung cancer, perhaps from a base norm of a lifetime risk of about four in a thousand up to maybe six in a thousand (note: that "six" estimate is pretty soft and extracted from a rather dark region of my anatomy for this discussion… it could well be lower).

    In terms of heart disease I could see the argument being made that one cigarette a day might actually be good for you on the average. Why? Because the stimulant effect of the nicotine would give your body a "micro cardiovascular workout" as your BP and heart rate accelerated for five or ten minutes and then returned to a microscopically-lower-than-otherwise-normal rate. Is there any evidence supporting such a theory? None that I know of directly, but it could be softly extrapolated/theorized from evidence that more intense exercise-induced daily cardiovascular workouts seem to be good for one's heart health. I doubt you'll find many/any researchers supporting such an idea though: it probably wouldn't bode well for their future grant applications for research connected with smoking since a good bit of (I would guess most of) such research money flows from funds dedicated to reduce smoking activity -- and producing a study saying something good about cigarettes wouldn't fly well with such sources.

    Finally, there's one other real area of effect that should be looked at, and it's the one where I think there most likely could be a significant negative effect from even such low smoking levels: the exacerbation of COPD in the one-in-ten-thousand-or-so individuals suffering from alpha-antrypsin deficiency. Those individuals are almost doomed to suffer from at least some degree, and often a fairly serious degree, of emphysema at fairly early ages. Even low levels (i.e. less than half a pack a day) of smoking have, I believe, been strongly shown to have a significant effect on COPD in such people, although I don't think there's any actual evidence for "one cigarette per day" levels.

    Note: remember: I started out by saying that there is pretty much nothing out there in terms of real, convincing, persuasive, actual research on such low levels of exposure. Most of what I've written above is simply my own theoretical extension from material I've read in the area. I'm sure there are many doctors (which, I am not in any sense) out there who would strongly disagree with me and tell you the risks of such a low level of exposure are actually much greater than what I've presented. I would say that most of them however are likely acting out of either monetary/grant interests or (more commonly perhaps) simply out of the belief that smoking is bad for people and thus anything they say about it to frighten people away from it or pressure people not to do it is necessarily a "good" thing.

    - MJM, not a doctor, and a person who's smoked a good deal more than one cigarette a day for a good number of years.

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    Re: How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?

    "One cigarette a day" is likely to significantly increase your chances of lung cancer, perhaps from a base norm of a lifetime risk of about four in a thousand up to maybe six in a thousand .. So think twice before even tryin to smoke, better substitute a usual cigarette with an electronic Ezzy Oval .

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    Re: How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?

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    Re: How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?

    More than one or two cigarettes carries a large risk to harm human body.Smoking about one cigarette per day carries 40–50 percent of the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke that is associated with smoking 20 per day.


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    Re: How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?

    Smoking a couple of day by day conveys enormous hazard
    They found that contrasted and failing to smoke, smoking around one cigarette for every day conveys 40–50 percent of the hazard for coronary illness and stroke that is related with smoking 20 every day


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    Re: How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?

    Smoking a couple of day by day conveys enormous hazard
    They found that contrasted and failing to smoke, smoking around one cigarette for every day conveys 40–50 percent of the hazard for coronary illness and stroke that is related with smoking 20 every day


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    Re: How much can one cigarette per day harm our body?



    They found that compared with never smoking, smoking about one cigarette per day carries 40–50 percent of the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke that is associated with smoking 20 per day.

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