Tuesday January 21, 2020

Kicking the Habit of Smoking Works Best in Pairs: Study

Lampridou noted that research is needed to confirm the findings in smokers who are otherwise healthy

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A person smoking cigarette, Pixabay

Is addiction not letting you quit smoking? Relax. A new study suggests that kicking the habit works best in pairs. The study, presented at EuroPrevent 2019, showed that couples who attempted to stop smoking together had a six-fold chance of success compared to patients who attempted it alone.

“Quitting smoking can be a lonely endeavour. People feel left out when they skip the smoke breaks at work or avoid social occasions. On top of that, there are nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Partners can distract each other from the cravings by going for a walk or to the cinema and encouraging replacement activities like eating healthy food or meditating when alone. Active support works best, rather than nagging,” said Magda Lampridou, Researcher from the Imperial College London in Britain.

For the study, the researchers evaluated the supporting role married or cohabiting partners might have in smoking cessation and enrolled 222 current smokers who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease or had suffered a heart attack.

Burning Cigarette. Wikimedia

The couples attended preventive cardiology programmes and during the 16-week programme, they were offered nicotine replacement therapy with patches and gum. In one programme, participants could choose the prescription drug, varenicline instead.

At the end of the programme, the findings revealed that 64 per cent of patients and 75 per cent of partners had quit smoking compared to none and 55 per cent in the beginning.

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European Society of Cardiology (ESC) cardiovascular prevention guidelines advise against tobacco in any form and people who stop smoking generally halve their risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Lampridou noted that research is needed to confirm the findings in smokers who are otherwise healthy. (IANS)

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Know About the Adverse Health Effects of Smoking Hookah

Smoking hookah may increase heart attack, stroke risk

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Hookah
Tobacco smoke from hookah can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Pixabay

Researchers have found that tobacco smoke from a hookah caused blood to function abnormally and be more likely to clot and quickly form blood clots, which can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

The study, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, found that tobacco smoke caused blood clots to form within an average of about 11 seconds, compared to an average of five minutes for clotting without exposure to hookah smoke.

Exposure to the hookah smoke also caused other abnormalities related to the way the blood flows, the research added. Some studies have found that the smoke emitted from one hookah tobacco smoking episode contains significantly more harmful chemicals compared to a single cigarette.

Hookah
Hookah smoking, which is becoming more popular in Western countries, is perceived as less harmful than cigarettes. Pixabay

“Our findings provide new evidence that hookah smoking is as unhealthy – if not more so – than traditional cigarettes. “Smoking a hookah, cigarettes, e-cigarettes or other forms of tobacco all increase your risk for heart disease and stroke,” said study researcher Fadi Khasawneh from University of Texas in the US.

In this study, researchers exposed mice to smoke from a smoking hookah’s machine that mimicked real-life smoking habits.

The smoking machine used 12 grams of commercially available, flavoured tobacco that included tobacco, glycerin, molasses and natural flavour with nicotine and tar. Researchers then compared platelet activity among the exposed versus the unexposed mice.

The study simulated the type of nicotine exposure that occurs with smoking a hookah, which the researchers verified by measuring the levels of cotinine, the nicotine metabolite.

In May 2019, the American Heart Association published a Scientific Statement, “Water Pipe Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Risk,” to analyse available research on the health effects.

The statement noted that tobacco smoking results in inhaling significant levels of toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide and particulates from tobacco that can harm blood vessels, the heart and lungs, as well as creating a dependence on nicotine.

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This study provides additional evidence that, contrary to popular belief, smoking hookahs adversely affects cardiovascular health.

“Water pipe smoking, which is becoming more popular in Western countries, is perceived as less harmful than cigarettes, yet hookahs carry a toxic profile that is thought to be comparable or to even exceed that of traditional cigarettes,” Khasawneh added. (IANS)