Intermittent or 'light' smokers have recently received more attention from the media and researchers, and a new study finds that young adults and members of certain minority groups are more likely to smoke less than six cigarettes daily, HealthDay News reported April 6.
A series of studies and articles published in the March 2009 issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research showed that blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders were more likely to be light smokers than whites; light smoking also was more common among adults under age 35.
Unlike smoking rates in general, light smoking rates among adults under age 30 is on the increase, researchers found. Light smoking was more prevalent in states with tough antismoking laws and who came from smoke-free homes.
“In order to adequately address the issue of tobacco use in this country, we cannot overlook light and intermittent smokers,” said researcher Pebbles Fagan of the U.S. National Cancer Institute. “Research suggests an impending global pandemic of light smokers, and we must take what this paper outlines and move the agenda forward in advancing research of the full spectrum of smokers.”
“We are yet to fully understand the best ways to help these light smokers quit — a very important goal as they represent an increasing percentage of the smoking population,” added Cheryl G. Healton, president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation.