One cigarette a day 'can increase cardiovascular risk'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

People who smoke even one cigarette a day may experience a significant negative impact on their heart health, according to a new study.

The University College London research analysed the results of 141 studies to estimate the relative risks for smoking one, five or 20 cigarettes per day, with the findings debunking the common misconception that smoking only a few cigarettes causes little or no harm.

“Smoking even one cigarette a day can increase a person's cardiovascular risk, meaning there is "no safe level of smoking", according to a new study.“

Men who smoked one cigarette per day had 46 percent of the excess risk of heart disease and 41 percent of the excess risk of stroke associated with smoking 20 cigarettes per day - much higher than the expected figure of five percent.

For women, these figures stood at 31 percent and 34 percent respectively, with heart disease risk more than doubling with one cigarette per day when only studies that controlled for several factors were included in the analysis.

Professor Allan Hackshaw of University College London's Cancer Institute said: "What this tells us is that people who smoke shouldn't just cut down - they should aim to stop smoking altogether. There is no safe level of smoking."

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