How honest are you with your doctor? If you’re one of the many young women who consider themselves occasional or light smokers, you are likely withholding this information from your health care professional. Maybe because they don't smoke every day or limit themselves to just one or two a day, they don't feel the need to share about tobacco habits. But whatever the reason, it seems these women are not taking the health risks of smoking seriously.
A new study finds a trend of women between the ages of 18 and 25 that are “very light smokers” but may be unwilling to admit this when discussing their health with doctors. Yahoo! Health reports about the study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease that sheds some light on the uptick we are seeing in very light smokers and the tendency to omit this information when discussing health with doctors.
Researchers involved in the study found that 30% of women between the ages of 18 and 25 are current smokers. The great majority of these women are considered very light smokers, only smoking 5 or fewer cigarettes per day. And of the very light smokers, some 70% said they didn’t even smoke every day.
The difference between heavier smokers and light smokers in this age category was that the light smokers were more likely to have had some college education and had a better understanding of the health risks involved in smoking than those who smoked more.
Researchers warned that the very light smokers were also less likely to divulge their tobacco use habits to doctors, maybe because they don’t really consider themselves regular smokers. Campaigns aimed at helping light smokers quit the habit may also be something the health community should consider.
Study researcher Carole Holahan believes it is important for doctors to know how prevalent the trend of light smoking has become and to discuss the dangers with patients. Holahan says, “Making very light smokers aware that even small amounts of tobacco are harmful would be important.”
What do you think of the study that sheds some light on current tobacco habits of young women?
Do you think occasional or light smoking should be taken more seriously?