Tuesday, September 22, 2020

WHO to tobacco smokers: Quit now or you die

The World Health Organisation today sent a chilling warning to all tobacco smokers to quit now to avoid avoidable heart disease and death, including death from Covid-19.

In a brief released one week to World Heart Day on 29 September, the WHO said 1.9 million people die from tobacco-induced heart disease every year.

“This equates to one in five of all deaths from heart disease..We urge all tobacco users to quit and avoid a heart attack”, said the report written by the World Health Organization, World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia.

“Smokers are more likely to experience an acute cardiovascular event at a younger age than non-smokers”, the report stressed.

“Just a few cigarettes a day, occasional smoking, or exposure to second-hand smoke increase the risk of heart disease. But if tobacco users take immediate action and quit, then their risk of heart disease will decrease by 50% after one year of not smoking.

“Given the current level of evidence on tobacco and cardiovascular health and the health benefits of quitting smoking, failing to offer cessation services to patients with heart disease could be considered clinical malpractice or negligence.

“Cardiology societies should train their members in smoking cessation, as well as to promote and even drive tobacco control advocacy efforts,” said Dr Eduardo Bianco, Chair of the World Heart Federation Tobacco Expert Group.

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