Hi medhist and thank you for the question.
First some hard facts:
Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States.
At least one-third of all cancer deaths and one-fifth of deaths
overall are attributed to tobacco use each year.
In 2002, about 170,000 people will die of cancer because of their use
of tobacco products. This number represents at least 30% of all
estimated cancer deaths in the United States.*
Now to deal with your specific question.
Do the number of cigarettes you smoke affect the chance of getting
lung cancer or is there a safe level? Match 19, 2001
The risk of getting lung cancer increases with the number of
cigarettes smoked. So someone who smokes 20 cigarettes a day is about
20 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker, whilst
someone who smokes 30 cigarettes a day is about 30 times more likely
to get the disease than someone who has never smoked.
The risk is also increased by the number of years you have been
smoking and this is probably even more important than the number of
cigarettes you actually smoke. For example, smoking 20 cigarettes a
day for 40 years is 8 times more dangerous than smoking 40 cigarettes
a day for 20 years
"Can a person smoke a small number of cigarettes without risk?
No, since every cigarette may cause some harm to the body, even
relatively light smokers may show lung damage on autopsy. Besides, in
practice, most smokers seem to find it difficult to smoke only a few
cigarettes. However, the more cigarettes smoked, over time, the higher
the risk of smoking-related disease."
The risk for lung cancer mortality increased with the number of
cigarettes smoked. Lung cancer risk increased with the number of years
of smoking, and this increase was independent of the number of
cigarettes smoked per day.
You develop a "tolerance" for tobacco. Smoking the same number of
cigarettes produces less effect over time, making it necessary to
increase the number of cigarettes you smoke to achieve the desired
6 Research shows that the amount of time a person has smoked has more
to do with the development of cancer than does the number of
cigarettes smoked daily. Therefore, those who start to smoke in their
teens and continue smoking are at greater risk
There are two components to smoking-related lunch cancer risk: the
number of cigarettes you smoke each day and how many years you have
smoked. Of the two, duration is more important. If you smoke a given
number of cigarettes for 10 years, the risk is much greater than
smoking the same amount for five years. Although duration of smoking
is more critical than dose, it is important to realize that doubling
the number of cigarettes used per day from, say, 10 to 20, or 20 to
40, will double the risk of lung cancer.
"Based on 11,870 deaths, the study showed a direct mathematical
correlation between the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the
decrease in life expectancy."
"The risk increases steadily with the number of cigarettes smoked per
day. In those who smoke 40 or more cigarettes a day (2 or more packs),
the risk of lung cancer is nearly 20 times the risk in nonsmokers."
"Smokers have a 70 percent greater chance of developing coronary heart
disease than do nonsmokers the risk increasing in direct proportion to
the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Even people who smoke one
pack per day have twice the risk of heart attack and five times the
risk of stroke as nonsmokers."
There are many OTHER diseases that are related to smoking which also
have a relationship with the number cigarretes smoked per day. For
There is a close relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked
each day and the odds of having periodontitis.
If you smoke, but smoke less than half a pack of cigarettes per day
you are almost three times more likely than a nonsmoker to have
As we all know the safe level of cigarettes to smoke is NONE.
"About Quitting Smoking"
Thank you for the question, and if you need any clarification
regarding my answer do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
"risks of smoking " "number of cigarettes"