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Title: Dose-Response Association of Low-Intensity and Nondaily Smoking With Mortality in the United States.
Authors: Inoue-Choi M,  Christensen CH,  Rostron BL,  Cosgrove CM,  Reyes-Guzman C,  Apelberg B,  Freedman ND
Journal: JAMA Netw Open
Date: 2020 Jun 1
Branches: MEB
PubMed ID: 32492162
PMC ID: PMC7272118
Abstract: Importance: An increasing proportion of US smokers smoke at low intensity and not every day. Some nondaily smokers have always had this pattern, whereas others previously smoked daily. The effect of reducing the level of smoking from daily to nondaily smoking and the dose response at low smoking levels are poorly understood. Objective: To evaluate risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality among nondaily and daily cigarette smokers, by cigarettes per month, years after reducing from daily to nondaily smoking, and years since quitting. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cohort study using harmonized data from multiple cycles of the Tobacco Use Supplements to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), linked to the National Death Index, were analyzed during the period from 2018 to 2020. Adults completed the 1992-1993, 1995-1996, 1998-1999, 2000, 2001-2002, 2003, 2006-2007, or 2010-2011 TUS-CPS. Cigarette smokers were classified as daily or nondaily users; current nondaily smokers were further categorized by whether they previously smoked every day. Main Outcomes and Measures: Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for risks of mortality vs never smoking. Age was the underlying time metric, adjusted for sex, race/ethnicity, education, survey year, and household income. Results: Among 505 500 participants (aged 18-103 years), approximately 47 000 deaths occurred. The median number of cigarettes smoked per month was 600 (interquartile range, 300-600) (20 cigarettes per day [interquartile range, 10-20 cigarettes per day]) for daily cigarette smokers and 40 (interquartile range, 15-90) for lifelong nondaily smokers. Nevertheless, both current daily (HR, 2.32; 95% CI, 2.25-2.38) and lifelong nondaily (HR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.65-2.01) smokers had higher all-cause mortality risks than never smokers. Associations were observed for 6 to 10 cigarettes per month and increased with greater-intensity use. Nondaily smokers who previously smoked every day had lower mortality risks than daily smokers, with similar HRs after 10 or more years of nondaily smoking as lifelong nondaily smokers (HR vs never smokers, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.56-1.92). Yet, their risks were higher than former smokers who quit 10 or more years before (HR vs never smokers, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.15-1.22). Conclusions and Relevance: Although reducing smoking from daily to nondaily was associated with decreased mortality risk, cessation was associated with far greater benefit. Lifelong nondaily smokers have higher mortality risks than never smokers, even among those smoking 6 to 10 cigarettes per month. Thus, all smokers should quit, regardless of how infrequently they smoke.