More Oral Cancer Danger in First Morning Cigarette #QuitSmoking (via

18 Apr


A recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention revealed some interesting information about smoking behavior and oral cancer risks, just in time for Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

The study’s findings are bad news for two-thirds of smokers, who have their first cigarette within a half hour of waking up in the morning. Researchers at Penn State took blood samples of 1,945 smokers and found higher levels of NNAL, a byproduct of a carcinogen found in tobacco, in people who started their day with smoking than those whose first smoke took place later in the day. Interestingly, NNAL levels were higher in this group regardless of how much participants smoked throughout the day.

Study co-author Steven Branstetter of Penn State said in a news release, “We believe these people who smoke sooner after waking inhale more deeply and more thoroughly, which could explain the higher levels of NNAL in their blood, as well as their higher risk of developing oral or lung cancer. As a result, time to first cigarette might be an important factor in the identification of high-risk smokers and in the development of interventions targeted toward early-morning smokers.”

Quitting altogether is the only surefire way to eliminate the tobacco risks of oral cancer. The best place to start may just be with the first cigarette of the day.




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