Most smokers are now moving towards lights. The statistics show than almost 80% of the smokers are into lights and dont prefer the stronger vesion anymore.

Are there any pros of smoking lights as compared to strong?

Almost each cigarette brand has its strong and lights pack. For example, Marlboro sells strong in a red pack and lights in a white pack. The naming is very comforting, lights indicates a low health damage product.

The fact that light cigarettes have filters designed to reduce the consumption of tar and nicotine is perfectly true and there is no denying this fact.

The problem basically is with the person who will be smoking these cigarettes. The problem is with the brain which will ensure that it receives its due of nicotine whether from a strong cigarette or a light cigarette.

Cigarette smoking cons Switching from strong to lights never works

I started out smoking Marlboro strong (King filter). Within a few months I was averaging a pack per day. During those day when I used to get a cold or a sore throat I used to switch to the lights because they were not so hard on the throat due to low tar.

I remember feeling completely unsatisfied after a smoke, it was as if a hunger had not been satiated. When the brain signals the need for a nicotine dose it requires enough to feel satiated. Let’s say you are used to smoking strong cigarettes then your brain gets used to that level of nicotine.

When you switch to lights you will feel unsatiated, in others words you will not be able to compesate the regular quantity of nicotine you get used to. As a smoker you will some smoke more lights cigarettes and take deeper puffs per cigarette to compensate for the lack it’s only natural. In fact I used to feel irritated smoking lights and switched over to the regular within a couple of days.

How is the tar and nicotine content measured?

Let me just brief you on how lights cigarettes manage to reduce the nicotine and tar levels per puff. Basically the trick lies with the filter.

Lights have filters which are more porous and perforated than the regular. This allows for more air to mix with the smoke, when you inhale, and thus reduce the intake of nicotine and tar.

Some even have large size filters to accomplish this task better. It is very important to know that the tar and nicotine levels in a cigarette are measured by machines which inhale a regular quantity of smoke and they don t use fingers on the filter to stub the pores.

A regular smoker will not smoke like a machine

A regular smoker would use his fingers to stub the filter and reduce air from mixing with the smoke. He would inhale more deeply from a lights cigarette to meet his nicotine needs as compared to a regular cigarette, it’s almost done unconsciously.

Hence the machine generated measurement holds no value and can be considered completely inaccurate in real life scenarios. Using these false measurements tobacco companies have found a way of selling a brand which the customer thinks is less harmful to his health.

In a lot of ways this is as good as cheating a customer s faith and defeating his purpose of buying the brand. There are cigarettes which have filters so porous that the concentration of air in your inhale would be close to 70%.

This should have been good news for any smoker, but remember that you are trying to switch from a regular cigarette to lights. You are used to the nicotine level supplied by the regular cigarette, more so if you are a habitual smoker.

Your brain is used to a certain level of nicotine in your blood stream and will not allow for anything less, because anything less would feel almost similar to the affects when you quit smoking.

Lights fail to serve their purpose, here’s why

Frankly lights fail to fulfill their purpose of being less harmful than their strong counterparts due to the following reasons

Your brain will show the symptoms of craving if you don t meet its nicotine needs so you will not be able to achieve the sensation of satiation.

If you are going to accomplish the task of fulfilling your nicotine needs with lights, you will end up doing this

  • You will smoke more cigarettes to satisfy your need for nicotine.
  • You will take deeper puffs to staunch your craving.

Hence you have defeated the purpose of smoking lights.

Starting Out With Lights Cigarette

There is a point of contention here. You might ask, what if I start out smoking lights? Isn t that a better option than to start out smoking the regular cigarette? The answer would be yes for sure, starting out with lights is definitely better than starting out with strong.

You brain would get used to the level of nicotine provided by lights. I could have said no outright but I want to be honest with you and provide you with factual information. Any smoker would know this answer to be true.

But the above scenario would fail with time, because smokers have a tendency to keep increasing their intake. I was smoking a pack a day for a year, then I increased to a pack and half, after four years I was smoking two packs a day.

Even if I was smoking lights, smoking a pack of cigarettes per day is good enough to cause all the destructive effects of nicotine plus the 43 carcinogens and the other thousand chemicals, several of them added by the cigarette manufacturers apart from those present in the burning tobacco itself, make you susceptible to all the diseases caused by smoking.

The final verdict

If you smoke regular cigarette and are habituated to it, then there is no benefit to be had by switching over to lights. You will only vary your smoking style to end up inhaling the same level nicotine as you did with your regular cigarette, worse you will end up smoking more cigarettes

If you start out smoking lights its no great benefit because with time the number of cigarettes you smoke per day would go on increasing no matter how disciplined you might be. Within a year you will be as good as any regular smoker susceptible to all the problems faced by a regular smoker.

The options you have are

  • Don t start out with lights, don t start out smoking at all. That s the best thing you can ever do to your life.
  • If you are a smoker don t dupe yourself by switching over to lights. You will be living in a fools paradise. The only option you have to escape serious implications, would be to quit right out.



Commentary: minimum age to buy cigarettes increased to 21: will the nation follow nyc’s lead?

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