Are Light cigarettes a Better Substitute to Cigarettes?

Many smokers believe that “light” cigarettes are the best substitute to high-tar, high-nicotine cigarettes and have a lower health risk, but this is only a fatal misconception. When people switch to brands with lower tar and nicotine, they often end up smoking more cigarettes, to get the same nicotine dose as before.

The word “light” is completely misleading. It refers only to the way the cigarette tastes. There’s no standard that says how much tar or nicotine a “light” cigarette should have. In fact, someone smoking a light cigarette absorbs just as much or more tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide, dangerous toxins and other chemicals.

Light cigarettes taste lighter because tiny holes in the filter allow more air to enter the cigarette. The smoker inhales “air-diluted” smoke, which makes the cigarette taste lighter but doesn’t change the actual amount of chemicals in the smoke.

What happens when smokers try light cigarettes? They tend to:

  • Take longer puffs
  • Take more puffs
  • Smoke the cigarette down to the filter
  • Block the tiny ventilation holes in the filter with their lips and fingers
  • Hold the smoke in their lungs longer
  • Increase the number of cigarettes per day

So, these are the things what smokers do when they try for light cigarettes to get the same amount of nicotine dose as before.And these are the reasons why light cigarettes posses the same dangers as the normal ones.

What researches say about the effects of light cigarettes?

The Federal Government’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently concluded that light cigarettes provide no benefit to smokers’ health.

  • According to the NCI report, people who switch to light cigarettes from regular cigarettes are likely to inhale the same amount of hazardous chemicals, and they remain at high risk for developing smoking-related cancers and other diseases.
  • Researchers also found that the strategies used by the tobacco industry to advertise and promote light cigarettes are intended to reassure smokers, to discourage them from quitting, and to lead consumers to perceive filtered and light cigarettes as safer alternatives to regular cigarettes.
  • There is also no evidence that switching to light or ultra-light cigarettes actually helps smokers quit.


What is the bottom line for smokers who want to protect their health?

  • There is no such thing as a safe cigarette. Almost every method of making smoking safer is a mere nonsense. There is only one way to totally reduce the chances of fatal diseases caused by smoking, is to quit smoking completely.
  • Smokers who quit before age 50 cut their risk of dying in half over the next 15 years compared with people who keep smoking.
  • Quitting also decreases your risk of lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and chronic lung disease.

There are no health benefits of “light” cigarettes. Switching to a light brand is not a substitute for quitting. Rather it has an equal risk of fatal health hazards.

The truth is that light cigarettes do not reduce the health risks of smoking. The only way to reduce your risk, and the risk to others around you, is to stop smoking completely.