Smoking 1 cigarette a day is good
Even a single cigarette a day is harmful to the body
Little-smokers feel like they are in a false sense of security: just one cigarette a day is harmful to health - and significantly. The only thing that really helps is stopping.
Even one cigarette a day significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Despite the greatly reduced number of cigarettes, the risk is still about half as great as that of smokers who consume 20 cigarettes a day, researchers report in British Medical Journal (Online publication on January 24, 2018). With regard to these diseases, there is no point in reducing smoking, the scientists write. Instead, smokers should get rid of their vice completely.
About a billion people in the world are currently smokers, write the researchers working with Allan Hackshaw from University College London in the technical article. Their share of the total population is particularly high in many poorer countries. That smoking not only increases the risk of cancer, but also the risk of stroke, stroke
Strokes occur more frequently during the low blood pressure around 3 o'clock in the morning (midnight stroke) or during the second low blood pressure in the afternoon. The symptoms of the disease usually set in suddenly and depend on the location of the infarction. The first signs can be severe headaches, pronounced clouding of consciousness or even loss of consciousness. A one-sided paralysis usually develops in the arm and face area. At first the paralyzed side is slack (in the face e.g. as a drooping corner of the mouth and swelling of the cheek on the paralyzed side when exhaling = "tobacco bubbles"), later uncontrolled twitching can occur. A cerebral circulation disorder is either the result of a thrombotic or embolic vascular occlusion (ischemic cerebral infarction) or a spontaneous rupture of the blood vessels with subsequent bleeding (hemorrhagic cerebral infarction).
Ischemic Stroke: Cerebral infarction, which is caused by blood congestion due to blocked vessels and therefore leads to an insufficient supply of the brain cells with oxygen. An ischemic cerebral infarction due to insufficient blood flow in an end artery area with sudden vascular occlusion of the artery is the most common cause of a stroke with 80-85%.
Hemorrhagic stroke: Calcified blood vessels in the brain break open, causing bleeding in the brain. The blood supply and thus oxygen supply to the affected brain cells is interrupted or cut off and they die.
and increased coronary heart disease has long been known. With coronary heart disease, the coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, which can result in a heart attack.
In some countries such as Great Britain and the USA, the proportion of light smokers who smoke fewer than ten cigarettes a day has risen continuously in recent years. Quite a few people believed that smoking just a few cigarettes a day does not harm your health, or not so much, the researchers continued. Some studies have already suggested that this is not the case. They showed that light smokers also have a greatly increased risk of heart disease. To get to the bottom of this, the researchers evaluated a total of 141 studies on the topic that were published between 1946 and May 2015.
Some of the results: Men who smoke about one cigarette a day have a 48 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 25 percent higher risk of stroke than nonsmokers. In women, the risk rose even more: by 57 percent for heart disease and by 31 percent for stroke. Taken together, smokers who smoke one cigarette a day still carry 40 to 50 percent of the increased risk associated with smoking 20 cigarettes a day.
"We have shown that a large part of the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke comes from smoking just a few cigarettes a day," the authors explain. “That might surprise a lot of people. But there are biological mechanisms that explain the unexpectedly high risk associated with not much smoking. "
Studies have shown that ingredients in cigarette smoke damage the lining of blood vessels and cause hardening of the arteries and thrombosis. Harmful effects occur even at low concentrations, even in passive smokers. With lung cancer, however, the risk increases proportionally with the number of cigarettes smoked daily.
Experts have known for a long time that the ingredients in tobacco smoke damage the cardiovascular system even in very small doses, confirms Ute Mons, head of the Cancer Prevention Unit and the WHO Collaboration Center for Tobacco Control at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg . In the general population and even among doctors, this is often not yet known.
“For the overall risk of illness, it is of course still better to smoke 2 instead of 20 cigarettes a day. But you shouldn't underestimate the risks of not smoking very little, ”emphasizes Ute Mons. At the population level, the study found the increase in risk by around
50 percent with one cigarette a day, a very significant number of cases of illness, because cardiovascular diseases are already very common overall.
It is best to quit smoking altogether, the researchers write. Health campaigns should also target complete abstinence - and not less smoking.
Unlike cancer, many of the positive effects would come on quickly. According to the scientists, smokers can also quit with the help of nicotine replacement products, and sporting activities are conducive to giving up smoking. The suitability of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation, on the other hand, is still controversial.
Kenneth Johnson of the University of Ottawa (Canada)who made a comment on the study (seeBritish Medical Journal 2018, Volume 360, Page: k167) wrote, for example, is of the following opinion: E-cigarettes discouraged many people from quitting, and possibly seduced young people to smoke. Since many vapers also occasionally smoke real cigarettes, their health does not benefit.
"If you switch to e-cigarettes, you should do that entirely," says Ute Mons from the DKFZ. The health effects of e-cigarettes, especially on the cardiovascular system, are still difficult to assess because there are no long-term studies on this yet. However, they hardly contained any carcinogenic substances. Most experts are now of the opinion that e-cigarettes are at least less harmful than real cigarettes.
In Germany, 121,000 people die every year from illnesses that can be traced back to smoking, around 35,000 of them from cardiovascular diseases.
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