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Quitting Smoking Reduces Risk of Heart Disease Even in Those Who Gain Weight

Heart Disease lower in those who quit smoking.By Join Together Staff
March 13, 2013
Filed in Research & Tobacco
Original Article here 

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of heart disease, even in smokers who gain weight after they quit, a new study finds.

Researchers found the median weight gain for people who did not have diabetes and had recently quit smoking was about six pounds. Despite their weight gain, these ex-smokers were about 53 percent less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or death from heart disease in the six years after quitting, compared with people who continued to smoke, CNN reports. People who were long-term quitters had a 54 percent reduced risk.

Senior study author James Meigs, M.D., M.P.H. of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston noted in a news release, “In patients with diabetes – among whom weight gain is a particular concern – we saw the same pattern of a large risk reduction regardless of weight gained.”

“The message of this study is that weight gain following smoking cessation does not offset the benefits of smoking cessation on cardiovascular diseases,” researcher Carole Clair, M.D., told CNN. “Doctors should advise all their patients to quit smoking.”

The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Three Cigarettes a Day Can Kill You (09/09/09)

A new study from the American Heart Association finds that smoking as few as three cigarettes daily raises the risk of cardiovascular disease by 65 percent and secondhand smoke exposure raises the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease 20-30 percent.

Researchers from Brigham Young University also looked at the risk of illness from other forms of air pollution.

"It doesn't require extreme exposure to have significant cardiovascular effects. Even passive exposures to ambient air pollution and secondhand smoke contribute to significant increases in cardiovascular mortality," said study author C. Arden Pope III, Ph.D. "A critical finding of our study is that smoking is unhealthy even at small amounts. Reducing the amount one smokes does some good, but the biggest benefits come from stopping completely."

Smoking half a pack of cigarettes raised the risk of dying from heart disease by 79 percent, the researchers found, while smoking a pack a day increased the risk 100 percent.

The full study appears in the August 2009 issue of the journal, Circulation.

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Smoking Raises Risk of Erectile Problems (09/27/07)

Better hold off on smoking a cigarette after sex: a new study finds that smokers face an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, and sexual problems are greater among those who smoke more, Reuters reported Sept. 26.

Researcher Jiang He of Tulane University School of Public Health and colleagues reported that male smokers had a 41 percent greater risk of erectile dysfunction than nonsmokers. Among men who smoked up to 10 cigarettes per day, risk increased 27 percent; risk rose 45 percent among those who smoked 11 to 20 cigarettes daily, and those who smoked a pack a day or more were 65 percent more likely to have erectile problems.

"The association between cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction was found in earlier studies," said He. "However, most of those studies were conducted in patients with hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What distinguishes this study is that it is the first to find this association among healthy men."

"This study really has a strong message for young men," He added. "It may get their attention if they know that smoking is associated with erectile dysfunction - even in the healthy population."

The research was published in the Oct. 1, 2007, issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology and reprinted from Join Together Online.

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Young Female Smokers Face Higher Breast Cancer Risk (07/20/07)

Young female smokers who have not had children appear to face an increased risk of developing breast cancer, Reuters reported July 16.

Researchers studied 56,042 women taking part in a long-term study and found that the risk of breast cancer rose in relation to how much women smoked before giving birth to their first child. For example, women with children who had smoked for 10 "pack years" (the number of packs smoked daily times the number of years smoked) before having their first baby were 78 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than nonsmokers.

"Our results are consistent with the biologic data indicating that the female breast is sensitive to tobacco carcinogens before first childbirth," the study by Mina Ha of Dankook University College of Medicine in Cheonan, Korea and colleagues concluded.

Girls who smoked before starting menstruation may be at even higher risk, the researchers added; the study suggest that breast tissue may be more vulnerable to carcinogens while it is still developing. Researchers found no link between pack-years smoked and breast cancer after the first child was born.

The study appears in the July 1, 2007, issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology and summarized in Join Together Online.

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Heart Hurt by Chewing Tobacco as Well as Smoking (08/21/06)

All types of tobacco can cause heart disease, not just smoking, according to a large international study led by researchers at the University of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada.

Web MD reported Aug. 117 that researchers looked at health data on 27,000 people from 52 countries and concluded that "tobacco use is one of the most important causes of heart attack globally, especially in men. All forms of tobacco use, including different types of smoking and chewing tobacco and inhalation of secondhand smoke, should be discouraged."

The study found that smokers triple their risk of having a heart attack, but chewing tobacco also doubles the risk of heart attack. People exposed to one to seven hours of secondhand smoke weekly have a 24 percent higher risk of heart attack, while those who are exposed to 21 hours or more of secondhand smoke per week are 62 percent more likely to have a heart attack, the study said.

The research appears in the August 19, 2006, issue of The Lancet.

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More Carbon Monoxide Benzene In Hookah Smoke Than Cigarettes, Study Says

Hookah Smoke Tobacco People walk past water pipes near the beach in Alexandria, Egypt, during the first day of Eid, August 30, 2011. The Eid al-Fitr festival marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (Photo : Reuters)

By James A. Foley
Apr 18, 2013 04:45 PM EDT
Original Article here 

A lot of people scoff at cigarette smokers but will happily toke on a water pipe, or hookah, because it's more socially acceptable and even viewed as less hazardous than cigarettes.

But a new study from the University of California, San Francisco reports that hookah smoke contains a different - but still harmful - cocktail of chemicals that can lead to health problems.

Research chemist Peyton Jacob and tobacco researcher Neal Benowitz report that hookah users intake higher levels of carbon monoxide, hazardous to people with heart or respiratory conditions, and benzene, which is associated with leukemia risk.

"People want to know if it is a lesser health risk if they switch from cigarettes to smoking a water pipe on a daily basis," Jacob said. "We found that water-pipe smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, nor is it likely to be an effective harm-reduction strategy."

Benowitz said that compared to non-smokers a person smoking from a hookah daily is "likely to be at increased risk for cancer."

For the study, researchers asked eight men and five women - all of whom had prior experience smoking cigarettes and using water pipes - to volunteer to smoke an average of 11 cigarettes or three hookah sessions per day.

Compared to cigarette smoking, hookah smokers were shown to have a 2.5 higher concentration of carbon monoxide on their breath after 24 hours and twice the level of benzene detected in their urine.

Intake of nicotine, the addictive compound in cigarettes, was less with water pipe use. Benowitz said that smoking from a hookah about once a week was unlikely to cause a nicotine addiction.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that because of the prolonged smoking sessions associated with hookah use, people are likely to absorb higher concentrations of toxins.

"A typical 1-hour-long hookah smoking session involves inhaling 100-200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette," the agency reports. However, it should be noted that the composition of the smoke from hookahs and cigarettes is different.

Other research has stated that levels of carcinoembryonic antigens - usually not present in healthy adults, but observed in heavy cigarette smokers - in exclusive hookah smokers were not significantly different from the levels of non-smokers.

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Hookah Delivers Carbon Monoxide Equivalent to a Pack of Cigarettes (01/04/08)

An hour spent smoking a hookah, or water pipe, delivers as much carbon monoxide to the user as smoking a pack of cigarettes, HealthDay News reported Jan. 3.

Hookah smoking has become a popular alternative to cigarette smoking in recent years, particularly among college students but, "This is not the risk-free activity they think it is," said study co-author S. Katherine Hammond of the University of California at Berkeley.

Hammond's study only looked at carbon monoxide, not other hazards of smoking. But Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth University, who also studied hookah use, said smoking a water pipe for 46 minutes produces 36 times more tar than smoking a cigarette for five minutes. And smoking tobacco through hookahs, like cigarettes, can be addictive.

Hammond's findings were published in a letter in the Jan. 2, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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