(Athens, GA) -- A new study at the University of Georgia shows even occasional smoking does damage to the function of arteries.
Researchers studied people who smoke less than a pack a week, and found the responsiveness of their arteries dropped 24% after two cigarettes compared to those who do not smoke.
The study also found the arteries of occasional smokers were 36% less responsive to changes in blood flow than non-smokers.
Researchers admit a larger sample group is needed to see if there is long-term damage from lighting up every once in awhile, but caution that people should not assume that smoking just every now and then will protect them from the harmful effects of tobacco.
The study is published in the early online edition of the journal "Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology."
(Copyright 2008 by Newsroom Solutions)