Study links early-morning smoking to cancer

April 16, 2013

University Park, PA – Smoking a cigarette first thing in the morning is associated with a higher chance of developing lung and oral cancer, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania.

Using data from 1,945 participants from the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition and Examination Surveys, researchers measured cancer risk by the level of NNAL, which is a substance formed from tobacco and linked to cancer. People who smoked within five minutes of waking up had NNAL levels almost twice as high as people who waited at least an hour before lighting up, the study abstract states. Researchers believe people who smoke sooner after waking inhale more deeply.

The study was published online April 2 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.