A new study from researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that very light cigarette smoking can still significantly increase your risk of dying early for both men and women.

Results showed that even people who said they smoked an average of less than one cigarette a day had a 64 percent higher risk of dying early than nonsmokers, NBC News reported.

To reach these conclusions, the team studied surveys of nearly 300,000 people who were asked about their smoking habits for every decade of life. The participants were on average 71 when the researchers examined their results.

Read: Lung Cancer Risk Update: Just One Year Of Smoking Cigarettes Produces 150 Mutations In Each Lung Cell, Increasing Cancer Risk

When averaged over a lifetime, some people surveyed smoked up to half a pack a day. This group had an 87 percent higher risk of dying early than people who’d never had a cigarette.

"The results of this study support health warnings that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke," study team leader Maki Inoue-Choi, told NBC.

"Together, these findings indicate that smoking even a small number of cigarettes per day has substantial negative health effects and provide further evidence that smoking cessation benefits all smokers, regardless of how few cigarettes they smoke,” Inoue-Choi explained.

Every year, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking also increases your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Source: Inoue-Choi M, Liao LM, Reyes-Guzman C. Association of Long-term, Low-Intensity Smoking With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in the National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health Study. JAMA Intern Med. 2016.

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