According to a study on middle-aged men over a 20-year period with no prior evidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), major CVD rates (death, myocardial infarction or stroke) were over four times higher for heavy smokers compared with men who never smoked. These results were recently uncovered by a study in the European Heart Journal, an official Journal of the ESC.
According to Professor Michal Tendera, President of the ESC, "The ESC strongly believes that the European environment should be smoke free. Smoking has been known as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for a long time, but its negative impact may be even stronger than previously considered. Decisions made by the individuals who stop smoking must be enhanced by policies that protect non-smokers. Smoking bans, like those introduced by Ireland and Italy, and their strict enforcement, may have a significant positive impact on public health."
World No Tobacco Day: 31 May 2005, is focused on the role of health professionals in tobacco control. Health Professionals are being called upon to help people change their behaviour and to advise, guide and answer questions related to the consequences of tobacco use, so that they can help patients stop smoking. It is estimated that 1.3 billion people around the world use tobacco, and 4.9 million people die from tobacco use every year. Half of all current tobacco users will eventually die from tobacco-related illnesses. By 2030, the World Bank predicts that smoking will kill about one in six adults globally per year.
The World Health Organization cites brief counselling by health professionals on the dangers of smoking and the importance of quitting as one of the most cost-
Contact: Gina Dellios
European Society of Cardiology