Well, no safe level of smoking really exists.
Smokers should aim to quit instead of cutting down, as according to a study just one cigarette a day also carries a greater risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to researchers, smokers should stop completely instead of cutting down to significantly reducing their risk of heart disease and stroke.
The findings indicated that men who smoked one cigarette per day had 46 percent of the excess risk of heart disease and 41 percent of the excess risk of stroke associated with smoking 20 cigarettes per day.
Lead researcher Allan Hackshaw along with his team from the University College London analysed the results of 141 studies to estimate the relative risks for smoking one, five, or 20 cigarettes per day.
For women, those who smoked one cigarette per day had 31 percent of the excess risk of heart disease and 34 percent of the excess risk of stroke associated with smoking 20 cigarettes per day.
"We have shown that a large proportion of the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke comes from smoking only a couple of cigarettes each day," say the authors.
The authors concluded that there is no safe level of smoking exists for cardiovascular disease. Smokers should quit instead of cutting down, using appropriate cessation aids if needed, to significantly reduce their risk of these two common major disorders.
Kenneth Johnson from the University of Ottawa advised that only complete cessation is protective and should be emphasised by all prevention measures and policies.
The take-home message for smokers is that "any exposure to cigarette smoke is too much," he added.
The research is published in The British Medical Journal.
(with ANI inputs)