University of Pittsburgh
November 17, 1998

PITT STUDIES PATTERNS OF HEAVY AND LIGHT SMOKERS

Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 18 -- As the American Cancer Society prepares to mark its 22nd annual "Great American Smokeout" tomorrow, Pitt researchers are studying the differences in smoking patterns between heavy smokers and those who smoke 5 or fewer cigarettes a day.

A recent Gallup survey sponsored by SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare found that the number of people who smoke 5 or fewer cigarettes a day has increased from 10 percent in 1993 to 15 percent in 1998, an increase especially notable among men.

In his lab at the University of Pittsburgh, Psychology Professor Michael Sayette is currently examining male light smokers who are presently not trying to quit. Participants must be between the ages of 21 and 35 and will be asked to spend a couple of hours at the lab to provide information about their smoking patterns. Those interested may call 412-624-8975.

Research data collected to date by Sayette provides an interesting snapshot of light smokers: they consume about half as much cola, beer and liquor as heavy smokers; they try more often than heavy smokers to limit their cigarettes; and they're more likely to attempt to quit smoking, while heavy smokers are more likely to try to cut down.

Professor Sayette is available for interviews and is prepared to discuss:

• other differences in patterns of light and heavy smokers

• the one cigarette of the day each group would miss the most

• ways to take advantage of the Great American Smokeout

• how often smokers try to quit or cut down

Sayette is available by calling 412-624-8799 or through Sharon Blake at 412-624-4364.

-30- 11/18/98/shg