Smoking may damage the immune response against melanoma and limit patients’ survival chances, according to a new study.
Melanoma patients with a history of smoking cigarettes are 40 per cent less likely to survive their skin cancer than people who have never smoked within a decade after their diagnosis, according to the study, published in the journal Cancer Research.
Other researchers have reported that smoking have adverse effects on the immune system, but it is not yet known which chemicals are responsible for this.
“The immune system is like an orchestra, with multiple pieces. This research suggests that smoking might disrupt how it works together in tune, allowing the musicians to continue playing but possibly in a more disorganised way,” said lead researcher Julia Newton-Bishop, Professor at the University of Leeds.
Smoking could directly affect how smokers’ bodies deal with the melanoma cancer cells, said the researchers.
“Overall, these results show that smoking could limit the chances of melanoma patients’ survival so it’s especially important that they are given all the support possible to give up smoking for good,” said Julie Sharp, head at Cancer Research UK in Britain.
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.
“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.
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)