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Timing of first cigarette of the day linked to higher lung cancer risk

Last Update 06/04/2021

Researchers have found that a smoker’s risk of lung cancer could be influenced by the length of time between waking up and their first cigarette.


Researchers have found that a smoker’s risk of lung cancer could be influenced by the length of time spent between waking up and their first cigarette.

Their research, published in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, involved data from a survey of Italian smokers and ex-smokers. As part of this questionnaire, participants were asked about their smoking habits, including the time between waking up and their first cigarette of the day.

The researchers looked at a sample of over 3,000 people from this study, some who had lung cancer, and some who didn’t.

They found that the risk of lung cancer was significantly higher among those with a shorter time between waking up and their first cigarette, a link that was stronger in current smokers. The researchers were also surprised to note that the association was also more apparent in lighter compared to heavier smokers.

The researchers hope that this finding could be used to shape lung cancer screening and quit smoking programmes in the future. However, more studies into the link are needed.

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