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Smokers who light up first thing in the morning are almost twice as likely to get cancer than those who smoke in the afternoon, says a US study
People who light up first thing in the morning are almost twice as likely to get cancer compared with those who smoke later in the day, say US researchers.
A study of 7,610 smokers, published in the journal, Cancer, said smoking in the first 30 minutes after waking nearly doubled the already high risk of lung cancer, BBC reports.
Cancer Research UK suggested people who were keen to smoke upon waking were more likely to smoke intensively and inhale more smoke into the lungs.
Scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine in the US looked at 4,776 smokers with lung cancer and 2,835 smokers without cancer, the Daily Mail reports.
They showed that patients who smoked in the first 30 minutes after waking up were 79% more likely to have developed cancer than those who waited at least an hour.
"Smokers who light up soon after waking tend to smoke each cigarette more intensively”, said Professor Robert West Cancer Research UK
The researchers said that the "time to first cigarette" effect was present even after they statistically adjusted for other factors such as the number of cigarettes smoked in a day.
Another study in the same journal looked at 1,850 smokers, 1,055 of whom had head and neck cancers. It said people who smoked in the first half hour were 59% more likely to have developed a tumor than those who waited at least an hour.
The authors admit: "It is uncertain what explanation there is for the relationship".
Dr Joshua Muscar, lead researcher, said: "These smokers have higher levels of nicotine and possibly other tobacco toxins in their body, and they may be more addicted than smokers who refrain from smoking for a half hour or more."