Sunday June 16, 2019

Smokers Put Their Kids’ Heart in Danger

The study published in the European Heart Journal, however, did not show an effect if only one parent smoked

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Smoking, high BP raises risk of heart attack relapse: Study. Pixabay

Do you smoke when your kids are around? It’s time to change your habits as exposure to passive smoking can increase risks of heart attacks and strokes in your children at later ages, a study said.

The team of researchers from Tasmania, Australia and Finland found that exposure to smoking in childhood thickens arteries’ walls which, in turn, ups the risks of heart attack and stroke.

“The study shows that exposure to passive smoke in childhood causes a direct and irreversible damage to the structure of the arteries,” said Seana Gall, research fellow at the Menzies Research Institute, Tasmania, and University of Tasmania.

The 3,776 children who participated in the research were aged between three and 18 at the start of the studies.

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Exposure to smoking in childhood thickens arteries’ walls which, in turn, ups the risks of heart attack and stroke. Pixabay

The researchers asked questions about parents’ smoking habits and they used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the children’s artery walls once they had reached adulthood.
The researchers found that carotid intima-media thickness, a measurement of the thickness of the innermost two layers of the arterial wall, in adulthood was 0.015 mm thicker in those exposed to both parents smoking than in those whose parents did not smoke.

Also Read: Passive Smoking May Spike up Snoring Risk in Kids

The study published in the European Heart Journal, however, did not show an effect if only one parent smoked.

“We think that the effect was only apparent with both parents smoking because of the greater overall dose of smoke these children were exposed to,” said Gall. (IANS)

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WHO Warns More Than 40 Percent of Smokers Globally Die from Lung Diseases

The World Health Organization recommends a number of effective, low-cost measures countries can adopt to reduce tobacco consumption

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FILE - An anti-tobacco warning is seen on a road divider on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2016. VOA

The World Health Organization warns that more than 40 percent of smokers globally die from lung diseases, such as cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis. The warning comes ahead of World No Tobacco Day this Friday, with the theme being, “Don’t let tobacco take your breath away.”

The World Health Organization says that every year, tobacco use kills at least eight million people. The U.N. agency reports 3.3 million users will die from lung-related diseases. This number includes people exposed to second-hand smoke, among them more than 60,000 children under age five who die of lower respiratory infections due to passive smoking.

Vinayak Prasad, the acting director of the WHO’s Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, says the global economic cost of using tobacco is $1.4 trillion. This is due to health expenditures, loss of productivity from illness and other expenses resulting from smoking-related diseases. He says both lives and money could be saved if people stopped smoking.

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Cigarettes don’t contain just nicotine but a range of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals you wouldn’t want near your body. Pixabay

“What we see also is that if people who are smoking, almost 20 percent of the world is smoking, if they quit, some of the benefits actually come very quickly, especially the lung diseases. Within two weeks, the lung functions actually start to become normal,” he said.

The World Health Organization reports that globally, the prevalence of smoking has gone down from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016. But the WHO, notes that the number of tobacco users worldwide has remained stable at 1.1 billion because of population growth.

Kerstin Schotte, WHO technical officer in the same department as Prasad, notes a steeper decline in the prevalence of smoking in wealthier countries, compared to poorer ones.

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The World Health Organization recommends a number of effective, low-cost measures countries can adopt to reduce tobacco consumption. Pixabay

“And, some low-and-middle income countries even have increasing smoking prevalence rates. This is where the tobacco industry is going at the moment,” she said. “They know a little bit that it is a lost cause in Europe and North America, so they are going into the low-and-middle-income countries, targeting especially women and children there.”

ALSO READ: Over 60% E-cigarette Smokers Want to Quit: Study

The World Health Organization recommends a number of effective, low-cost measures countries can adopt to reduce tobacco consumption.

These include the creation of smoke-free environments, imposing a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. WHO also suggests putting a high tax on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to make them unaffordable for many, especially young people. (VOA)