Researchers in Japan have suggested that Asian women might be discouraged from smoking if it could be shown that smoking were associated with a darker skin color.
An abstract of the paper was published by Tobacco Control at: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2013/01/25/tobaccocontrol-2012-050524.abstract?papetoc.
In a paper that seems to court controversy, the authors said that having a lighter skin tone was highly valued among many Asian women. ‘If skin colour is affected by smoking, women may be motivated to avoid tobacco or quit smoking,’ it said.
Information on smoking habits was said to have been obtained through a self-administered questionnaire completed by 939 Japanese women aged 20–74 in Gifu, Japan, during 2003–2006. Skin colour was examined on the inner side of the upper and lower arm and on the forehead using a narrow-band reflective spectrophotometer, which expressed results as a melanin index and erythema index.
The results were said to have shown that current smokers had higher melanin indices than never-smokers and former smokers for all measured sites. ‘The number of cigarettes smoked per day, the years of smoking and pack-years were significantly positively associated with melanin indices for all measured sites after adjustments for age, body mass index, lifetime sun exposure, and room temperature and humidity,’ the abstract said. ‘Smoking was also significantly associated with erythema indices on the inner upper and lower arms.’
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