Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 1st, 2013
Early morning smokers have higher risk of lung cancer

“The sooner a person smokes a cigarette upon waking in the morning, the more likely he or she is to acquire lung or oral cancer, according to Penn State researchers,” so reads the first line of the article posted on HNGN. The research was conducted at Penn State, and adds a new alarming wrinkle to the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

Apparently, those who smoke right upon waking up have more of  ”a metabolite of the tobacco-specific carcinogen–NNAL” in their blood, than those who wait before lighting up. Researchers now wonder if when you smoke is just as important as how much you smoke.

In trying to understand why this would be the case, researchers believe that “people who smoke sooner after waking inhale more deeply and more thoroughly, which could explain the higher levels of NNAL in their blood, as well as their higher risk of developing oral or lung cancer. ”

The amount dropped significantly when the smoker waited a half hour before having a cigarette.

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