Light smoking still damages lungs

People who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day cause long-term damage to their lungs, according to new research.

“Many people assume that smoking a few cigarettes a day isn’t so bad, but it turns out that the difference in loss of lung function between someone who smokes five cigarettes a day versus two packs a day is relatively small,” said study lead author Elizabeth Oelsner, Assistant Professor at Columbia University Vagelos College in the US.

For the study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, the researchers looked specifically at lung function–the amount of air a person can breathe in and out–in smokers, ex-smokers, and never-smokers.

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