An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Are certain cigarettes safer?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by SharkyJen998, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    I am trying to quit smoking and thought if I switched from menthol to reds, for example, that this would be a good start. Is there any evidence that light cigarettes are any better/worse than menthol? Even other smokers will tell me that if I can't quit to at least smoke a 'safer' kind. It was my assumption that all cigarettes are equally dangerous.

    Ideally I would like to be smoke-free. Do you think swapping to a 'light' cigarette would help? Any thoughts on this?
  2. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    Yeah, from what I've read, both now and in the past, it doesn't really matter what kind of cigarette you smoke. All are brands are pretty much just as bad as any other. Check out this article, hopefully it'll be informative on the subject.

    If you're having trouble quitting, then it would probably be wiser to gradually cut down on your intake every day rather than looking for a different brand.
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I'm a smoker myself and if you want to be healthier then you need to cut down and try and quit altogether, not bother looking at changing to a different brand or anything like that.

    All cigarettes will do you harm, that's a well known fact so obviously the less you smoke, then the less harm you will do to yourself.
  4. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I really don't believe that substituting one kind of cigarette for another is any better for you. The only way for it to be better is to cut down and eventually quit. I don't think there really is any other option.
  5. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Well, when it comes down to it all of them are damaging, some more than others. Light or smooth cigarettes or tobacco are supposed to be no better, although it has been determined that the longer they are, the less damage each puff causes. Personally, I would be more concerned with checking the tar and nicotine content which is usually displayed in mg (milligrams). Obviously, the less nicotine the less addictive and the less tar, the less damaging. However, some tobacco manufacturers use chemicals like chlorine in their cigarette paper.
  6. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    Thank you all for your responses. I never understood why even smokers think certain brands are 'safer' or lighter is better. My mom is a prime example (Marlboro light smoker) who constantly tells me (Marlboro menthol smoker) that I need to switch to a light brand that is better for me. I mostly just blew it off until other smokers started to tell me the same.

    @SLTE I agree that cutting down gradually may make it easier and that is what I intend to do. Thank you for the article. The article does point out on exception to 'all cigarettes are equally damaging' statement. They point out that menthol can make the cigarette smoke more smooth and less harsh which could cause some to smoke more than they would if there wasn't menthol. Interesting read, thank you.

    @Sparkster I never thought to check the nicotine content even though it seems very obvious now. I will do that in the future, thank you!
  7. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    "Light" cigarettes may contain less tar and nicotine but they still contain all the other nasties, in similar amounts. You'll be better off quitting. Of course, this is no mean feat.
  8. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I sometimes wonder if the tobacco or the paper is worse. Of course, cigars are made with tobacco leaves and not paper. As far as I am aware, the paper also contains some nasty chemicals including certain types of formaldehyde and cyanide, in addition to chlorine. I do know that nicotine is more poisonous to humans than cyanide is though!
    SharkyJen998 likes this.
  9. SharkyJen998

    SharkyJen998 Active Contributor

    @Sparkster Wow! I never knew that, and I will certainly be doing some research on the subject!

    A quick google search already revealed the conflicting evidence on the subject. I do notice that e-cigarette companies seem to be one of the big proponents against the idea of nicotine being that deadly.

    There have been cases where humans have ingested 'lethal' amounts and survived, but the side effects of large doses of nicotine are very unpleasamt.

    Here is a pretty good resource i found for those interested: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880486/
  10. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Switching to smoking lighter cigarettes may help you, but only for a while. Most likely you will smoke more of them, because you need higher amounts of nicotine which are not contained in a single cigarette, thus buying more packs, and it's only a waste of money and time. Also, you are fooling yourself that you are "healthier", which is kinda sad.
    SharkyJen998 likes this.
  11. Mims

    Mims Active Contributor

    To give a general summary, menthol is the worst, Black & Milds are several cigarettes rolled into one, and regulars and lite smokes are at the bottom. Switching to the less harmful choices are "healthier", but each option on the list is still detrimental to your health. Choosing between a menthol and a lite is like deciding between a Big Mac or a cheeseburger from McDonald's: the cheeseburger has less fat and sodium, but they are both bad for your health and can increase your chances of heart attacks and disease.
  12. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    The light ciggrettes are not safer, sadly all ciggrettes are dangerous to the body. The only difference is that light ciggrettes have less nicotine which might help you quit smoking. Switching to lights was my first step in quitting. Not everyone will be able to quit with the same steps as someone els, but switching to lights might help you in the long run. One downside some people find is that they smoke more to compancate for the lack of nicotine. This is actually more damaging than having one with a lot of nicotine. One way to "smoke healthier" is to never smoke the bottom of a ciggrette. The closer it gets the the filter the more damaging the ciggrette is.
  13. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I do not think that there is a safer type or kind of cigarettes. Agree to those who said that better to cut down smoking until to can totally get rid of it.
  14. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Every cigarettes will do harm, there are some studies that states that the toxins in those menthol cigarettes are very dangerous, but smoking itself is pretty dangerous. However as a clear response for your question, yes, menthol cigarettes are more harmful than other cigarettes.
    SharkyJen998 likes this.
  15. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I didn't know that menthol is the worst of all, that's the variant I used to like when I was into smoking. I also agree with the rest that cigarettes are cigarettes, and they will harm your health just the same, no matter which variant, so I guess that you're better off using e-cigs instead.
    SharkyJen998 likes this.
  16. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    There are no "safer" cigarettes. There could be a difference in the quantity of nicotine or tar contained in the cigarettes but remember the chemicals and compounds in the smoke you inhale are not great for your health. So switching to smoking "lights" may not make that huge a difference.
  17. henry

    henry Community Champion

    I tried smoking light cigarettes in the past, but they just didn't do it for me. Every time I had one, it felt like I was smoking a piece of chalk. My throat got sore, because I just could not feel the smoke, so I would light one every 20 minutes. So, yeah, they're all bad, and I'd rather get cancer from the ones I enjoy instead of the other way around.
  18. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    I think slim cigarettes are safer, especially when thier filter is charachole, the activated carbonic filter can filter out many nasty stuff which could damage your lungs so yes I'd say some cigarettes are defenitely safer.
  19. sbatz72

    sbatz72 Active Contributor

    When I was trying to quit smoking, I too went from menthol's such as Virginia Slims, Newport, and Marlboro menthol. Then I would go to Reds, Mediums, and Lights. I cannot say I had too much success with this method. I still craved the nicotine, just was not faithful to one brand any longer.
    I think the ultimate success was when I had an illness and found myself in the hospital. I found that if I did not quit, I might not be here 13 years later writing this. I quit with the help of the patch and of course a little will power. Eventually, you need rip off the patch and man up.
  20. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    I don't think there are brands that are safer than others. The problem here is not the amount of nicotine but the added chemicals that seem to be the most dangerous. Those chemicals also keep you addicted.