Some Precautions That Smokers Can Easily Take









Cigarettes/Product Photography
Image by Saquan Stimpson/monstershaq2000 via Flickr

1. Smoke as few cigarettes as possible no matter what their published tar yield is (studies show that people who smoke 40 to 50 cigarettes a day have been able to successfully cut back to 10 per day). Also avoid smoking more than two cigarettes per hour at any time of the day.

2. Smoke the lowest-yield cigarettes that you find acceptable, realizing that it may take weeks to get used to them. The greater the decrease in yields the better: differences of only 2 milligrams tar and 0.1 milligrams nicotine are too small to be important. (Note that unless step no. 1 is followed, this will be a futile step.)

3. Do not block vent holes on filters.

4. Take fewer puffs per cigarette.

5. Leave longer butts (the last part of a cigarette delivers the highest yields).

6. Avoid inhaling; if you do inhale, take more shallow puffs.

7. Do not keep the cigarette in the mouth between puffs.

Additionally, the primary author of the pamphlet, Dr.Lynn Kozlowski, developed a method whereby smokers can check to see if they are inadvertently blocking ventilation holes. The method is simple. Immediately after smoking cigarette, inspect the butt end of the cigarette. A yellow stain surrounded by a ring of clean white filter material indicates that the vent holes were open and delivering air to the mouth (and thus less smoke per puff). If the stain covers the end of the butt, then the holes were all blocked. If the stain extends to the filter on one side of the cigarette, then just the holes on that side were blocked, and so forth. Dr.Kozlowski also discovered that cigarette smokers can gradually cut back their tar and nicotine yields by monitoring the color of the stain on the end of the filter. Darker stains indicate that more tar and nicotine were extracted and reached the mouth. Lighter stains indicate that less smoke was extracted. Smokers are encouraged to smoke their cigarettes in such a way as to leave lighter stains on the end of the filter.

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