'Rise and shine' shouldn't mean 'cigarette time'

A new Penn State College of Medicine study shows that people who smoke their first cigarette within minutes after waking up have much higher levels of cotinine, a by-product of nicotine when processed by the body, than those who wait to smoke, regardless of the number of cigarettes smoked.

“Since cotinine levels appear to reflect the risk of lung cancer, our results suggest that smokers who smoke immediately after waking may be especially at risk for lung cancer,” said researcher Joshua E. Muscat, professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. “These people may require a more intensive intervention than other smokers to help them quit smoking on a sustained or permanent basis.”

Results of this study are published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, as part of a special tobacco focus in the December issue, online today.

See the journal’s full release at http://www.aacr.org/home/public--media/aacr-press-releases.aspx?d=1653 online.

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Last Updated December 07, 2009