Background: It has become well known that 'light' cigarettes are deceiving in fostering the attitude that they are 'safer' or less health damaging than regular cigarettes. The goal of this study is to analyse the smoking of 'light' cigarettes according to the progress over the stages of change to stop or reduce smoking. Methods: A sample representing the genera I population of a northern German region aged 18 to 64 was drawn (T1, N = 4075). 1520 smokers of 'light' and regular cigarettes were identified by a face-to-face interview and reassessed longitudinally by questionnaire 30 months later (T2, n = 913). Results: At baseline smokers of 'light' cigarettes, in particular males, were more likely to be contemplators or preparators in terms of smoking cessation. Those who smoked 'light' cigarettes were more likely to have made a quit attempt, were more likely to be female, at younger age, never married, higher educated and less nicotine dependent compared to smokers of regular cigarettes. The follow-up data shows that males who smoked 'light' before or changed to 'light' cigarettes were more likely to contemplate or to prepare quitting, had more often tried a quit attempt and stopped smoking more often. Conclusion: The results suggest that 'light' cigarettes especially by males are used for reasons of reducing or quitting smoking. It is concluded that as such they deceive the smoker and potentially hinder the process of reducing or quitting.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)