Real Men Smoke Reds – Myths debunked about light versus regular cigarettes

by stephen on September 30, 2009

Most people know that every cigarette brand has their “light”, “regular”, and sometimes even “ultra light” versions.  I’m pretty sure a lot of folks out there have seen somebody smoking an unfiltered or “full flavor” version of a brand and wondered how much worse their cancer really will be, after all; these people are hardcore man.

So whether you are a true cancer cowboy smoking Marlboro reds or just a little minor melanoma puffing on ultra lights, what is the real difference between the carcinogen laden devices you’re choking down?

Let’s start out with the easy one: Nicotine

The Myth

Yes, there is supposed to be less of that generously legal substance called Nicotine in Light versus regular cigarettes.  Does this mean that you are getting less nicotine from light cigarettes?  Not necessarily.

The Reality

Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/yesmoke/2266257165/

The amount of nicotine is measured by special smoking machines that smoke every single cigarette exactly the same way.  Unfortunately, every person smokes differently.  If you work on wall street, you’re taking rapid puffs inhaling as much tar, poison, and nicotine the cigarette and surrounding environment can throw at you before the next check hits your bank account or round of layoffs occurs.  If you are herding cattle across the United States, you might be inclined to take slow deep breaths while riding a horse and wondering why you are the only person who actually does that anymore.  The point is, you are not a smoking machine.  You can get cancer, have sex, get depressed, and of course as much nicotine you want from the cigarettes whether they are light, mild, natural, or TNT-based.

The amount of tar is lower in light versus regular cigarettes.

The Myth

Most definitely.  As measured by the tobacco companies heartless and lungless smoking machines, the amount of tar inhaled during a “normal” smoking session is lower for light cigarettes than normal ones.

The Reality

tar

Again, the smoking machines are assuming we all smoke the same way.  People take longer drags, deeper drags, faster drags, and sometimes dress in drag.  This will lead to different amounts of tar going into their lungs than what is measured by the smoking machines.  Furthermore, these machines are fingerless and lipless (these smokers have nothing going for them).  The tobacco company can design light cigarettes with tiny holes near where the smokers’ lips or fingers go so a machine smoking will measure less tar or nicotine.  However, when an actual person smokes the same cigarette their lips and fingers cover the hole thus returning the cigarette back to a normal one.

Switching to light cigarettes can help me quit.

The Myth

The Reality

ballandchain

If you’re addicted to nicotine, you are pretty much screwed until you actually stop smoking cigarettes altogether.  Switching to lights or ultra lights isn’t going to help you wean yourself off.  You will probably just smoke more often, take deeper puffs, or start shoving them up your…nose (ahem).  Most smokers will do whatever they can to continue getting the amount of nicotine they are addicted to and lights aren’t going to change that fact.

The fact is, the tobacco companies do whatever they can in their tests to call a cigarette light.  Unfortunately, smoking lights isn’t going to make smoking any less toxic or less likely to cause cancer.

So, if you want to look hardcore and smoke reds, go right ahead my friend, its no more dangerous than smoking ultra light pink slim rainbow brand cigarettes.  But keep in mind, how hardcore do you really look when you’re six foot tall 95 pounds with two plastic tubes coming out of your nose getting pushed around in a wheelchair by an underpaid nurse who’s face shows just how stupid she thinks you are.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris September 30, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I found this on Stumble and wanted to say thanks for the great post.
I always wanted to know about the difference between light and red. My wife is a smoker and tends to rationalize herself smoking ultra light and tried to convinced me it’s not that bad for her health which I never really believed. But I never even bothered to figure out what the difference was.
I will let my wife know tonight when I get back home and I want to hear what she has to say. Hopefully she realizes that she just has to quit smoking.

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Tiffany October 7, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Thanks for the great information! I also rationalize that it was okay to smoke because I smoked only Marlboro ultra lights.
I tried to quit so many times, but gosh…it’s just really hard. I will keep coming back for good tips and resources.
Keep up the good work and thanks again!

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stephen October 8, 2009 at 11:08 am

Yeah, no matter what you smoke its all bad for you. I’ve seen too many people switch to ultra lights or something because they thought it was somehow better for them.

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Emily October 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I am on my third day of quitting cold turkey. I have always smoked lights, thinking that they weren’t as bad for me. It is really hard and both of my roommates smoke like chimneys, which only makes it worse. Thanks for the info, and I will return for tips.

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stephen October 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Hey Emily, that’s awesome news about being on your third day! The third day really sucks because a lot of withdrawal symptoms peak that day. Having friends or roommates that smoke makes it even harder. For me, its just too easy to break down and join them. Keep it up and thanks for commenting!

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anxietytreatments October 17, 2009 at 7:26 am

i was able to Quit Smoking by using Nicotine patches. those nicotine patches really helped me stop my nicotine addiction.

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Mark.P October 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Great information!

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Fuzu October 28, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Ooh shoot i just wrote a big comment and when i hit reply it came up blank! Please please tell me it worked right? I do not want to sumit it again if i dont have to! Either the blog bugged out or i am an idiot, the latter doesnt surprise me lol.

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admin October 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Fuzu….I didn’t see any other comment besides this one. Sorry!! Hopefully nothing bugged out on you. :(

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i. ewing October 30, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Hi just figured i will let you know i also had a issue with this blog appearing frozen also. Might be chimpanzees in the system.

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marco November 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm

PEOPLE WHO SMOKE ARE DISGUSTING DIRTBAGS. THEY WOULD BE BETTER OFF DYING QUICKLY IN A CAR ACCIDENT (HOW ABOUT NOT WEARING YOUR SEATBELT AND GETTING EJECTED FROM THE CAR @ 80 MPH).

THIS WAY, THEY SAVE THE REST OF US FROM PUTTING UP WITH THEIR FILTHY DISPICABLE HABIT. THEY GET CANCER, THEY HANG AROUND LONGER, THEY SUCK UP OUR TAX DOLLARS ON WASTED MEDICAL CARE WHEN THEY’RE GONNA DIE ANYWAY!!

DO US ALL A FAVOR, KILL YOURSELVES QUICKLY!!!!!

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e cigarette November 18, 2009 at 9:34 am

this is good information, do you know anyone who has quit or tried using electronic cigarettes?

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admin November 18, 2009 at 9:45 am

Not yet. That’s still not really “quitting” though since nicotine is still being delivered to the body. However, I’m a proponent since there is so much other crap in normal cigarettes and its still jacking the money from big tobacco.

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