Cigarette smoke is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and related mortality. Despite overall decreases in smoking prevalence, light and nondaily smoking is increasingly prevalent. However, the health effects of lower-level cigarette consumption have received less empirical attention to date. Previous research suggests a nonlinear dose-response relationship between smoking level and cardiovascular disease and mortality. In this review, we highlight research investigating the relationship between cardiovascular health risk and light and nondaily smoking, including research examining the mechanisms hypothesized to explain the effects of differing levels of cigarette smoking on cardiovascular health. We conclude that the research community should agree on definitions for "light" and "nondaily" smoking in order to facilitate future research regarding the cardiovascular health effects of these types of smoking patterns and that future examination of the cardiovascular effects of nondaily smoking is critical given the dearth of research in this area.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Light smoking
- Occasional smoking
- Tobacco use
- Tobacco, cigarette smoke, light smokers, nondaily smokers, cardiovascular risk