Tag Archives: Smoking Related Diseases

Surgeon General: Smoking Poses Greater Risks Than Originally Thought

The tobacco related news is buzzing this week with a critical new report from the Surgeon General on the dangers of smoking.

This report was shared on Friday, Jan 17th, 2013 and lists many more associated diseases including great concern for children’s health risks.

The report makes makes it clear that second hand smoke is just as dangerous as directly inhaling a cigarette.

Additional diseases added to the list effect all age groups: young, middle aged, and aging population:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Macular degeneration that can blind older adults.
  • Two additional types of cancers: liver and colorectal.

Number of Deaths Since 1964: 20.8 Million

The report also noted the number of deaths related to smoking since the very first Surgeon General Report published back in 1964. About 20.8 million people in the U.S. have died from smoking-related diseases since then. That is staggering yet not surprising. 2.5 Million of those who died who directly related to second hand smoke. The report also stated that 100,000 of the smoking-caused deaths over the past 20 years were babies who died from SIDS or other types of complications related to health problems caused from the parent’s smoking (or direct household exposure.)

When you think of all the American deaths caused by war, stop and think again how tobacco related deaths equal 10 times the number of of all the nation’s wars combined. For an excellent summary of the report. There is no safe cigarette, period.

 

The Effects of Smoking on Your Health, Wallet & Family

The Surgeon General notes smoking-related deaths to be the most preventable cause of death in the United States.

One in four Americans smoke cigarettes, and each year, over 400,000 people die from smoking-related diseases.

The habit of smoking also leads to tremendous financial and interpersonal relationship strains.

What Smoking Does to Your Health

Each puff of cigarette draws over 4,000 chemicals into the lungs and through the body. Continuous exposure to smoke and these chemicals leads to cellular changes in the body’s tissue, eventually causing cancers such as throat and lung cancer.

Smokers’ hearts beat an extra 20 to 25 times per minutes, increasing the risk of heart attack. There is also a 15% higher chance of a smoker having a deadly stroke or heart attack than a non-smoker.

Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, a lethal substance that decreases oxygen levels in the skin, brain, and other organs. The results are a reduced ability to comprehend, an increase in wrinkly-greyed skin, and a significant reduction in energy.

Smoking increase the body’s mucous production, which then increases the chances of bacteria and viruses to multiply. This leads to a smoker experiencing more colds, flus, and cases of bronchitis than non-smokers. Additionally, smoking affects the white blood cells’ functions, leaving smokers with a harder time fighting illness.

What Smoking Does to Your Wallet

All smokers are fully aware of the price of cigarettes when they purchase each pack. But if the price of each pack of cigarettes purchased over a span of 15 years for a smoker with a half-pack a day habit, the sum would total over $16,000.

In addition to the daily cost of this addiction, smokers pay more for health insurance due to the increased health consequences.

What Smoking Does to Your Family

Smoking has dire effects on family members: spouses of smokers are 20% more likely to contract lung disease due to the presence of second hand smoke. The exposure to second hand smoke also causes illness and death in children.

Families also endure extreme emotional trauma when a loved one becomes ill or dies because of smoking-related diseases.

The Real Cost of Smoking

Statistics Reveal Smoking’s Hidden Death Toll

Smoking causes hundreds of thousands more deaths each year than previously thought, dramatic scientific research has revealed.

A study, led by experts in Glasgow, showed heightened chances of dying from cancers of the colon, rectum and prostate, as well as from lymphatic leukaemia.

These illnesses cause 930,000 deaths worldwide each year, in addition to more than five million smoking-related deaths estimated by the World Health Organisation as being caused by diseases such as lung cancer, which have long been linked to smoking.

Scotland’s health minister and anti-smoking campaigners have welcomed the study as further proof of the need to clamp down on the habit.

About 13,000 Scots a year die of lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases, such heart illnesses. Another 1,600 people die in Scotland each year from the cancers newly linked to the habit.

The Scottish Government last month unveiled controversial new plans to curb smoking, by proposing a ban on cigarettes being displayed in shops. And ministers south of the border have suggested scrapping packs of 10 cigarettes because of their popularity among young smokers.

Bagpipes in GlasgowThe new study, which has been published in the journal Annals of Oncology, was carried out by a team led by experts at Glasgow University and was based on data from 17,363 male civil servants based in London. Information about their health and habits has been collated since the 1960s in an effort to gain information about health trends and find links between lifestyle and illness. The original link between smoking and lung cancer was found through similar analysis of medical data.

The study found:

  • A 43% increase in the chances of dying from cancer of the colon if the person smokes.
  • A 40% higher likelihood of dying from rectal cancer.
  • An increase of 23% in the chances of losing one’s life to prostate cancer.
  • A 53% rise in mortality from lymphatic leukaemia among smokers.

The study concluded: “Cigarette smoking appears to be a risk factor for several malignancies of previously unclear association with tobacco use.”

Dr David Batty, of the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, based at the University of Glasgow, said: “What this study shows is that smoking is linked to more kinds of cancer than previously thought. It’s important to remember that cancer is not a single disease and that the various kinds of cancers are different illnesses so you couldn’t necessarily assume that smoking was linked to them in the same way. What’s unclear is how exactly smoking causes these cancers.”

Health Minister Shona Robison said: “This study appears to demonstrate that smoking is even more carcinogenic than was realised.

It also underlines the importance of Scotland’s smoking ban in public places, which is helping to safeguard the health of thousands of people working in previously smoky environments.”

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health Scotland, said: “This large-scale study adds to the weight of existing research confirming the harmfulness of smoking. It’s vital that smokers receive support and encouragement to quit and as a nation we take steps to ensure future generations avoid getting hooked on this lethal and highly addictive substance.”

Ed Yong, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The dangers of cigarette smoke go far beyond its well-known link to lung cancer. It’s interesting to see that even after 50 years of research, studies are still revealing new dangers.”

However, one leading medical experts questioned the conclusions.

Fouad Habib, professor of experimental urology at Edinburgh University, and an expert in prostate cancer, said: “This study is bit of a surprise and very much the first of its kind. Until now it’s not been thought that there was any link between smoking and prostate cancer and I would have thought that there are factors which play a much greater role, such as genetics.”

Meanwhile, smokers’ groups insisted the research should not be used to push through tougher anti-smoking rules.

Neil Rafferty, spokesman for the smokers’ lobby group the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, said: “We are not suggesting the smoking is anything other than bad for you. People enjoy it, but they know that it’s not good for them and they take the choice. No doubt the anti-smoking lobby will want to use this to erode our freedoms still further. At the end of the day, we are adults. Let us get on with our lives.”

Source: Murdo MacLeod, News.scotsman.com

Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Part I

Chronic Pulmonary Disease kills over 100 thousand Americans each year.

This makes COPD the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Take a moment and learn about COPD, and how this combination of diseases (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) combine to create COPD, and how to detect it.

click for > Part Two: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Part II

Over twelve million people currently suffer from Chronic Pulmonary Disease in American this year.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Take a moment and learn about treatments for COPD, and how the symptoms of this combination of diseases (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) can be controlled.

Bronchodialators are one of the most used treatments and consist of several different types. Learn about several other options to treat this incurable disease.

click for > Part One: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Researchers Identify Genetic Variant Linked To Nicotine Addiction

NIDA Researchers Identify Genetic Variant Linked To Nicotine Addiction And Lung Cancer – Variant Also Increases Risk For Cardiovascular Disease

Scientists have identified a genetic variant that not only makes smokers more susceptible to nicotine addiction but also increases their risk of developing two smoking-related diseases, lung cancer and peripheral arterial disease.

The research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The study, published in the April 3 issue of the journal Nature, “highlights the advances that are being made in genetics research, which can now identify gene variants that increase the risk of complex bio-behavioral disorders,” says NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. “This finding will help us in our efforts to further reduce the scope and devastating consequences of cigarette smoking.”

“These results suggest for the first time that a single genetic variant not only can predispose to nicotine addiction but may also increase sensitivity to extremely serious smoking-related diseases,” explains NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. “Additionally, it points to potential targets for new smoking-cessation medications that may be more effective at helping smokers to quit.”

The variant is closely linked to two of the known subunits of nicotine receptors, the sites on the surface of many cells in the brain and body that can be bound by nicotine. When nicotine attaches to these receptors in the brain, there are changes in cell activity that results in its addictive effects.Carriers of this genetic variant are more likely than noncarriers to be heavy smokers, dependent on nicotine, and less likely to quit smoking. “The variant does not increase the likelihood that a person will start smoking, but for people who do smoke it increases the likelihood of addiction,” says Dr. Kári Stefánsson, the study’s principal investigator and chief executive officer of deCODE Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company based in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The variant was identified through a technique known as genome-wide association, in which DNA samples (from more than 10,000 Icelandic smokers) were analyzed for the presence of more than 300,000 genetic markers. Subsequent investigation showed that carriers of the variant strongly associated with nicotine dependence were also at increased risk for two smoking-related diseases, peripheral arterial disease and lung cancer. The findings were replicated in populations from five European countries and New Zealand. The researchers estimate that the variant explains 18 percent of cases of lung cancer and 10 percent of cases of peripheral arterial disease in smokers.

Nicotine addictionThe same variant was identified as one that increased risk for lung cancer in two other articles appearing in the April 3rd, 2008, issues of Nature and Nature Genetics, partially funded by two other NIH institutes–the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute.

For more information on Smoking/Nicotine: http://www.drugabuse.gov/DrugPages/Nicotine.html

The National Institute on Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction.

The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA web site at http://www.drugabuse.gov.

The National Institutes of Health

(NIH) – The Nation’s Medical Research Agency – includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

Psssst – Smoking is Associated with Rectal Cancer

Cigarette smoking may be a risk factor for — but not colon–cancer.

The evidence linking cigarette smoking and rectal colorectal cancer risk has been inconsistent.

Electra Paskett, Ph.D., of Ohio State University in Columbus and colleagues investigated the association between smoking history and colorectal cancer among nearly 147,000 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative.

After an average follow-up of about 8 years, 1,242 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Increased colorectal cancer incidence was associated with more cigarettes smoked per day, more years as a smoker, and older age when the women quit smoking.

Rectal ImageCurrent smokers were at an increased risk for rectal cancer, but not colon cancer, compared with never smokers. Secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke was not associated with either cancer.

“Our data add to the extensive evidence indicating that preventing smoking initiation and decreasing the duration of smoking might reduce colorectal cancer risk,” the authors write.

This research was published recently in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute.

colorectal cancer

Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2007, November 14). Smoking is Associated with Rectal Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 15, 2007, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2007/11/071113165642.htm

Unlocking the Secrets of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Exclusive: A major new report seen by the IoS has revealed that smoking holds the key to a mystery that has baffled doctors and brought heartache to thousands.

Nine out of 10 mothers whose babies suffered cot death smoked during pregnancy, according to a scientific study to be published this week.

The study, thought to be one of the most authoritative to date on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), says women who smoke during pregnancy are four times more likely than non-smokers to see their child fall victim to cot death.

The comprehensive report will make a strong case for the Government to increase the scope of anti-smoking legislation. It even suggests a possible move to try to ban pregnant women from getting tobacco altogether.

Baby in CribThe study, produced by Bristol University’s Institute of Child Life and Health, is based on analysis of the evidence of 21 international studies on smoking and cot death.

The report, co-authored by Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology, and Dr Peter Blair, senior research fellow, will be published this week in the medical journal Early Human Development.

The report urges the Government “to emphasise the adverse effects of tobacco smoke exposure to infants and among pregnant women”. It also warns that this year’s ban on smoking in public places must not result in an increased exposure of infants or pregnant woman at home – smoking in their presence should be seen as being “anti-social, potentially dangerous, and unacceptable”.

The study points out that many mothers and mothers-to-be have not heeded warnings about smoking and may need to have their access to tobacco restricted. “Given the power that tobacco addiction holds over its victims, there is grave concern as to whether it will be a successfully modifiable risk factor without fundamental changes in tobacco availability to vulnerable individuals,” it states.

Scientists are working to the theory that exposure to smoke during the pregnancy or just after birth has an effect on brain chemicals in the foetus or in infants, increasing the risk of SIDS.

The Government is considering whether it should change its advice on smoking. It recommends that pregnant women should not drink alcohol at all, but simply recommends that mothers and fathers “cut smoking in pregnancy”.

These findings will add weight to calls from doctors earlier this year for a ban on parents smoking indoors where children are present. Professor Robert West, of University College London, the Government’s most senior smoking adviser, said: “We can apply powerful social pressure on parents not to smoke in the house.”

Speaking about the new report, Dr Blair said: “If smoking is a cause of SIDS, and the evidence suggests it is, we think that if all parents stopped smoking tomorrow more than 60 per cent of SIDS deaths would be prevented.”

According to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), at least 300 babies in the UK each year die suddenly and unexpectedly, mostly between the ages of one month and four months. SIDS is the biggest killer of babies over a month old, claiming more deaths than traffic accidents, leukaemia and meningitis put together.

The issue has prompted a number of high-profile criminal convictions against mothers such as Angela Cannings and Sally Clark. Mrs Cannings suffered the deaths of three babies who died in their cribs. Mrs Clark had two infants who were taken by SIDS. Both women were jailed but later had their convictions overturned and were released in 2003. Mrs Cannings, whose family smoked, was too upset by personal matters to comment yesterday on the findings of this latest study. Mrs Clark, a non-smoker, died last March.

Although scientists are still trying to understand precisely why babies die so young, medical research is providing effective steps that parents can take to reduce the risk of it happening.

Anti-smoking messages have provided some benefits: in the past 15 years, researchers found that the proportion of smokers among all pregnant mothers in the UK has fallen from 30 to 20 per cent.

Nevertheless, according to another study, in 1984 57 percent of babies who died from SIDS had mothers who smoked during pregnancy. This had increased to 86 per cent by 2003. It is thought that the huge rise in the proportion of SIDS mothers who smoke is at least to some degree a result of the Back to Sleep campaign which was launched in 1991, and which appears to have had a dramatic effect in reducing cot death.

The key message of this campaign was that parents should put their baby on its back to sleep. Since then, the number of SIDS deaths has fallen by three-quarters. The proportion of SIDS babies found lying face down has fallen from 89 per cent to 24 per cent.

The campaign has also changed the social profile of parents whose infants have died from SIDS. Before the Back to Sleep campaign, fewer than half were from lower socio-economic classes, considered to be “deprived”. Now, this proportion has risen to 74 per cent.

The researchers now believe that laying babies face down has been largely removed as the main reason for SIDS. The remaining primary dangers are exposure to tobacco smoke and other factors possibly linked to deprivation.

“The risk of unexpected infant death is greatly increased by both prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke,” said Dr Blair. “We should aim to achieve a ‘smoke-free zone’ around pregnant women and infants.

“Reduction of prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke, by reducing smoking in pregnancy, and of postnatal exposure to tobacco, by not allowing smoking in the home, will substantially reduce the risk of SIDS.”

There are a number of theories to explain how smoking could affect the baby. Babies exposed to tobacco could have breathing problems. Lung development in the growing foetus could be hindered. Another theory is that levels of brain chemicals are affected by smoke exposure.

“Exposure to tobacco smoke, either prenatally or postnatally, will lead to a complex range of effects upon normal physiological and anatomical development in foetal and postnatal life, together with an increased incidence of acute viral infection that places infants at greatly increased risk of SIDS,” says the Bristol University study.

Deborah Arnott, the director of ASH, the anti-smoking charity, said that this report should provoke a strong government campaign to highlight the risks of women smoking while pregnant, and of parents smoking in the home.

“Because of other advice on avoiding cot death, smoking has become an increasingly important trigger and we are very concerned that there is a lack of understanding of how important it is,” she said.

A YouGov poll commissioned for ASH at the end of August showed only 17 per cent of respondents thought second-hand smoke had a big impact on cot-death risk, and 26 per cent that it had “some impact”. But Ms Arnott does not believe the public ban will necessarily increase smoking at home. She added: “About 85 per cent of smoke is invisible and people think it isn’t having an impact if they smoke in a room where the baby isn’t, but it moves around the house. Our advice is, if you have a baby and cannot give up, don’t smoke in the home or car and use nicotine gum or patches for cravings. Being realistic, banning smoking in the home isn’t something we can do.”

Catherine Parker-Littler, a midwife and founder of midwivesonline.com, said that her confidential service has received emails from smokers who lost infants to cot death. “In our ‘Ask a Midwife’ service, we have definitely had emails from a small number of parents who smoke about their experience in terms of a cot death,” she said. “Some are about feelings of guilt.”

A spokeswoman from the Department of Health said: “This is an interesting report which we will study carefully and consider whether we need to change our advice. At the moment, our advice on how best to reduce the chances of cot death is based on the best available scientific evidence. We advise parents to cut out smoking in pregnancy and not to share a bed with your baby if you are a smoker.”

Falsely accused: Bereaved – and then tried for murder

The court cases of Angela Cannings and Sally Clark became bywords for miscarriages of justice after both were wrongly convicted of murdering their children.

Ms Cannings, from Salisbury in Wiltshire, was jailed for life in April 2002 after she was found guilty of smothering her two sons, seven-week old Jason in 1991 and 18-week-old Matthew in 1999.

Ms Cannings, 43, maintained her babies died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and was eventually freed in 2003. Her marriage has since broken down and she has left the family home. During her appeal, Professor Robert Carpenter, a medical statistics expert, said the babies had been at a “substantially increased risk” of cot deaths because they may have been exposed to cigarette smoke.

“The Cannings family smoked and the children slept prone,” he told the Court of Appeal in 2003.

But the link between smoking and cot death is not a certainty, as the case of Sally Clark shows.

Mrs Clark, who died in March at the age of 42, was jailed for life in 1999 for murdering her two sons, eight-week old Harry and 11-week-old Christopher. Her conviction was finally overturned in 2003.

The Clarks were affluent non-smokers, factors that led Professor Sir Roy Meadow, a consultant pediatrician and expert witness in both trials, to wrongly conclude that the chances of two cot deaths in such a family was “one in 73 million”.

Mrs Clark was released after a second appeal found her children had died of natural causes. She never recovered from her ordeal.

Source: Roger Dobson, Senay Boztas, and Ian Griggs, The Independent

Buerger’s Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Buerger’s disease is a seldom seen condition that strikes mostly men aged twenty to forty.

Buerger’s disease most commonly starts in the hands and the feet and works it way to bother other parts of the body.

What exactly precipitates Buerger’s disease is unknown, but everyone diagnosed with it smokes or uses some form of tobacco.

Buerger's Disease Image

Buerger’s disease affects the arteries and veins in a person with a combination of inflammation and clots, ultimately causing impaired blood flow.

This can result in tissue being destroyed, with infection and possible gangrene as a consequence.

It is essential that patients with Buerger’s disease stop smoking immediately and completely.

This is the only treatment known to be effective in Buerger’s disease.

Patients who continue to smoke are generally the ones who require amputation of fingers and toes.

Click to learn more about > Buerger’s Disease.

How Long After You Quit Smoking Does Healing Begin?

Healing from the effects of smoking is possible, but it does take time.

The following is a guideline to give you an idea how your immune system kicks in to clear the effects of smoking from your system and promote healing.

We know it is wise to give your system additional nutritional support when smoking, but don’t forget that after you quit you want to support your body with nutrition to help support physical healing.

Effects of Quitting Smoking – After Eight Hours

  • Carbon monoxide in your body drops.
  • Oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.

Two days After Quitting Smoking

  • Your sense of smell and taste will improve.
  • You will enjoy the taste of your food more.
  • Your risk of heart attack begins to decrease.

After Three of Four Days

  • Bronchial tubes relax.
  • Your lung capacity will have increased.
  • Breathing becomes easier.

After Two Weeks of Not Smoking

  • Blood flow improves; nicotine has passed from your body.

Two Weeks to Three Months After Quitting

  • Circulation improves.
  • Walking and running are easier.
  • Lung functioning increases up to 30%.

Six to Nine Months After Stopping Smoking

  • You’ll experience less coughing
  • Less sinus congestion
  • More energy (less tiredness and shortness of breath).

One Year – Happy Anniversary! Mark Your Calendar

  • Your risk of heart disease will be about half of what it would have been if you continued to smoke!

Five Years After Stopping Smoking

  • Your risk of stroke will be substantially reduced and you have a lot to look forward to. You are well into your recovery from the effects of tobacco addiction.
  • Within 5 to 15 years after quitting, it becomes about the same as a non-smokers.

After Ten Years Free From Addiction

  • Your risk of dying from lung cancer will be about half of what it would have been if you had continued to smoke.
  • Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas will also decrease.

After Fifteen Years – Congratulations

  • Your risk of dying from a heart attack is equal to a person who never smoked.

Yes, it does take time, but where will you be in fifteen years if you don’t stop smoking now? You may be one of the lucky ones like George Burns, but what are the odds of that?