SMOKERS who light up first thing in the morning have a greater risk of getting lung, head or neck cancer, according to researchers. US scientists questioned more than 9400 current or former smokers. They found those who reached for the fags within 30 minutes of waking up were 1.79 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who held off smoking for an hour or more. Smokers who had their first cigarette between 31 and 60 minutes after getting up had a 1.31 times greater risk of developing lung cancer. A study of head and neck cancer data showed similar findings. Those who lit up within 30 minutes of wakingand those who had their first smoke between 30 and 60 minutes after waking were 1.59 and 1.42 times more likely to develop these cancers.
Dr Joshua Muscat, of Penn State College of Medicine, said: “We think the early morning smokers are more nicotine-dependent and less likely to change their smoking habits.”
Meanwhile, about 10 per cent of Scots smokers buy cigarettes from illegal traders. The figure was 10 per cent in Glasgow, six per cent in Aberdeen, five per cent in Edinburgh and four per cent in Dundee. An HM Revenue and Customs spokesman said: “Many people who buy dodgy cigarettes do not realise the scale of criminality behind the sellers they deal with.”