Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Any smoking is harmful to health: Social smoking carries similar heart risks as current smoking

Any smoking is harmful to health: Social smoking carries similar heart risks as current smoking Today is World No Tobacco Day. Any amount of smoking is injurious to health. Even people who smoke only occasionally - ‘social smokers’ - have a risk of heart disease that is similar to people who smoke daily, says a new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion. The study evaluated self-reported smoking habits, cholesterol levels and blood pressure in around 40,000 adults across the United States. Ten percent of the participants were found to be social smokers who smoked regularly in certain situations but not daily, while 17% were current smokers. Individuals aged 40 or younger were more likely to be social smokers. • Compared with non-smokers, social smokers had significantly higher risks of having hypertension (odds ratio [OR]: 2.08) and high cholesterol levels (OR: 1.53). • Social smokers and current smokers had similar odds of having hypertension (OR = 0.94) and high cholesterol (OR = 0.95), risk factors for heart attacks and stroke. • Both current and social smokers had similar rates of hypertension, 76% vs 75% respectively and high cholesterol levels 55% vs 53%, respectively. Although this study did not quantify the magnitude of impact of social smoking on heart health compared to other patterns of tobacco use, it does bring to the forefront the fact that any smoking is harmful to health. Social smokers often do not comprehend the health risks associated with only occasional smoking. It is important to educate them that social smoking is also a major health risk and counsel them about the need to quit smoking completely for long-term health, both general and heart specific. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) supports the efforts of the government to reduce the use of tobacco in the country. IMA has also introduced several initiatives to discourage use of tobacco and related products. • The IMA campaign “Koi Dekh to Nahi Raha” discourages social smoking amongst its members. Being public figures and role models for the society, it is our responsibility to adopt in our own lifestyle, what we teach our patients about healthy lifestyle habits. • All IMA CMEs will be (e) tobacco free and will serve health-friendly food. • IMA (e) tobacco policy will mention in all meetings “Thanks for not consuming tobacco” • IMA is for total tobacco ban with arrangements for alternative crops and rehabilitation of tobacco workers and industry. • IMA supports 85% pictorial warning on tobacco packs and high tobacco taxes to control non-communicable diseases. (Source: Medscape) Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA & HCFI

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