Lower Income Smokers Cause More Harm to Themselves

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Article published on 9th June 2008

Researchers at New Zealand's Otago University believe that people with lower incomes suck on their cigarettes for longer, leaving shorter butts, and therefore harm themselves more than wealthier smokers.

This assertion comes on the back of research was carried out by monitoring the length of 3,500 cigarette butts on the streets of Wellington, from the wealthy to the poor back streets. Apparently, butts found in poorer districts were much shorter and so, the researchers assert, this shows that poorer smokers are trying to get more bang (or rather puff) per buck (or smoke).

One can only assume that the researchers factored in the possibility of homeless people picking up and smoking the longer cigarette butts before dropping them again - a phenomenon that can be witnessed in any major city. Perhaps Wellington doesn't enough homeless people in the poorer districts to affect the outcome of the research.

Dr Nick Wilson, one of the researchers, said that research in other countries had shown that addicts nicotine addicts who had been deprived of nicotine were likely to smoke more of the tobacco is cigarettes and were also more likely to inhale more deeply.

Drawing upon this other research, Dr Wilson and his team concluded that if less well-off smokers drew more from their cigarettes then they would leave less tobacco and inhale more deeply as well, having knock on detrimental effects on their health, including critical illnesses like lung cancer and heart disease.

The team's findings were published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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