The study in question looked at 7,610 smokers, 4,776 of whom had lung cancer and 2,835 of whom did not. The results showed that patients who smoked within the first 30 minutes after waking up were 70% more likely to have developed cancer than those who waited for a minimum of an hour.
The researchers said that even after they statistically adjusted the results to take into account other factors such as the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the negative affects of having a cigarette within 30 minutes of waking up were still present.
An additional study which was published in the same Cancer journal looked at 1,850 smokers, 1,055 of whom were suffering from either cancer of the neck or head. Similarly to the above study, the second also revealed that individuals who smoked in the first half an hour after waking were 59% more likely to have developed a tumour than those who waited.
In terms of why smoking first thing in the morning has this effect experts remain unsure, however, Dr Joshua Muscar who was the lead researcher believes that these smokers may have higher levels of nicotine and tobacco toxins in their body and may be more addicted to smoking than those who refrain from lighting up as soon as they wake.
Professor Robert West from Cancer Research UK also said that smokers who light up early in the morning are more likely to smoke intensively, meaning that more smoke is taken into the lungs and the exposure to cancer causing chemicals is higher.
If you are a smoker who is looking to give up, please visit our fact sheet on hypnotherapy for quitting smoking to find out about how it could help you.
View the original BBC News article.