‘Lite’ cigarettes impair blood flow as much as regular cigarettes

A small study has shown that light, low tar cigarettes impair blood flow through the heart as severely as regular cigarettes.

‘Lite’ cigarettes impair blood flow as much as regular cigarettes
‘Lite’ cigarettes impair blood flow as much as regular cigarettes

The study, published ahead of print in Heart, was undertaken in 62 people in their mid 20s, with no evidence of coronary heart disease.

Twenty had smoked low tar, low nicotine cigarettes (8mg tar 0.6mg nicotine and 9mg carbon monoxide) and twenty had smoked regular cigarettes (12mg tar, 0.9mg nicotine and 12mg carbon monoxide) for three years. The remaining participants were non-smokers.

Coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) was used as a measure on how readily the coronary arteries can dilate in response to increased blood flow.

The study results revealed that blood pressure and heart rate both climbed after smoking, irrespective of cigarette type. CFVR fell, irrespective of cigarette type.

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