I have several patients that think smoking only a few cigarettes a day is not as dangerous as more frequent smoking. But a study done in Norway over 30 years found that light smoking (i.e., fewer than five cigarettes per day) significantly affects health in later life. Men who reported smoking one to four cigarettes daily tripled their risk of dying from lung cancer. Women with the same habit had a risk of cancer five times greater than nonsmokers. Light smoking also tripled the risk of dying from heart disease in both groups. So even a couple cigarettes a day is not an appropriate threshold for safe use.