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Just one cigarette a day can lead to heart disease

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A man smokes a cigarette along a road in Mumbai, India, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

(Reuters Health) – Smoking just one cigarette a day carries half the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke as a pack-a-day habit, according to research that concludes there is no safe level of smoking.

The study team analyzed data from 141 smaller studies to assess the risk of heart disease and stroke for people who smoked one, five or 20 cigarettes a day. Men who smoked one cigarette a day were 74 percent more likely to have heart disease and 30 percent more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked at all, they report in The BMJ.

Women who smoked one cigarette daily were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease and 46 percent more likely to have a stroke than women who didn’t smoke.

“People who have always been light smokers will have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than many of them expect,” said lead study author Allan Hackshaw of the Cancer Institute at University College London in the UK.

While their risk is still lower than for heavy smokers, the results should offer fresh motivation for light smokers to quit altogether, Hackshaw said by email. Heavy smokers, meanwhile, can benefit from cutting back even if they can’t quit.

“Cutting down is certainly better than smoking the same high amount,” Hackshaw advised. “And cutting down has significant reductions in the risk of cancer and other disorders; hence, it is absolutely important that people try this if they find it too difficult to stop completely.”

For example, men who smoked about a pack a day had more than twice the risk of heart disease as non-smokers, while the risk was 58 percent higher than nonsmokers’ for men who smoked five cigarettes a day and 48 percent higher for men who smoked just one.

Similarly, women who smoked five cigarettes daily had 43 percent of the excess of heart disease associated with a pack-a-day habit, while women who smoked one cigarette a day had 31 percent of the excess risk.

Compared to nonsmokers, men who smoked 20 cigarettes a day were 64 percent more likely to have a stroke and women had more than twice the risk for stroke.

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how the number of cigarettes people smoke on a typical day might impact their risk of heart disease or stroke.

Another limitation of the analysis is that researchers lacked data on individual patient characteristics from many of the smaller studies, making it impossible to assess whether the study results might be explained by factors that can independently lead to stroke and heart disease and stroke such as obesity and diabetes.

Even so, the findings should serve as a reminder that no amount of smoking is safe, said Kenneth Johnson of the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa in Canada, who wasn’t involved in the study.

That’s because smoking can lead to an irregular heart beat, blood clots too well, thickening and stiffening of the artery walls and increased blood pressure, Johnson, author of an accompanying editorial, said by email.

“With regard to the number of cigarettes, it’s a little like with matches, you only need one – not the whole box – to start a fire,” Johnson said. “Even secondhand smoke appears to trigger these damaging processes, resulting in 80 to 90 percent of the effect associated with active smoking.”

SOURCES: bit.ly/2DE8ytj and bit.ly/2E5tmcf BMJ, online January 24, 2018.

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Cigarette prices to increase more with passage of Universal Health Care Bill – DOH

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

 

A man taps ashes off his cigarette into an ashtray filled with cigarette. | REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

MANILA, Philippines – The prices of cigarettes are seen to go up further as higher tariffs are set to be imposed on tobacco products to fund the Universal Health Care Bill, which aims to provide Filipinos with access to health services.

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the increase in tobacco prices is due to the new round of sin taxes which will be on top of the hikes under the first package of the Tax Reform Law.

The tax hikes will be a major source of funding once The Universal Health Care Law is enacted. Over P135B fund is needed for the first year of its implementation and a total of P256B for the fourth year.

“Eighty-five percent (85%) of the incremental proceeds will go to health and 80% of the 85% share of the health sector doon pupunta sa PhilHealth at iyon namang bente porsyento ay para mapondohan ang ating mga health facilities enhancement program,” Duque explained.

Though the amount of the price increase still depends on the decision of the lawmakers, Secretary Duque believes this is a win-win solution for the health of the Filipinos.

He also supports Senator Jv Ejercito’s proposal to hike cigarette prices to P90.00 per pack. If the Congress approves the bill, the government will collect more revenue compared to the current P35.00 price per pack in 2019.

“Magkakaroon po tayo ng proceeds po ng about P45B. Malaking bahagi nito mapupunta sa pagpondo ng PhilHealth para doon po sa mahihirap na walang kakayahang magbayad ng kanilang pagiging miyembro,” he added.

The health official believes this move would also save more lives and reduce the number of smokers. It would also save the government billions of pesos in treating sick Filipino smokers.

Our target is to really bring it down to the 14% level of smoking prevalence from a high of 21.47% pero iyang 21. 47% bumaba na rin iyan kasi nagkaroon na rin tayo ng sin tax,” he concluded. F

The World Health Organization has reported that 17 Filipinos are dying every hour due to smoking.- Aiko Miguel / UNTV News and Rescue

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Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death and disease, WHO says

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2018

FILE PHOTO: An illustration picture shows cigarettes in their pack, October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Illustration

Fewer people are smoking worldwide, especially women, but only one country in eight is on track to meet a target of reducing tobacco use significantly by 2025, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday (May 30).

Three million people die prematurely each year due to tobacco use, which causes cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and stroke, Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO’s Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, said during the launch of the organization’s global report on trends in the prevalence of tobacco smoking.

Some 890,000 of the deaths result from second-hand smoke exposure.

Progress is uneven, with the Americas being the only region set to meet the U.N. target of reducing tobacco use by 30 percent by 2025.

Parts of Western Europe have reached a “standstill”, particularly due to a failure to get women to stop smoking, while African men are lagging, and tobacco use in the Middle East is actually set to increase, Bettcher said.

Overall, tobacco kills more than 7 million a year by causing a higher risk of cancer and heart disease. But many smokers in China and India are unaware of these health impacts, Bettcher said.

The two Asian powerhouses have the highest numbers of smokers worldwide, accounting for 307 million and 106 million, respectively, of the world’s 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show. — Reuters

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DOH releases new graphic health warnings for cigarette packages

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

One of the new graphic health warning that will appear to cigarette packs

MANILA, Philippines — The Republic Act No. 10643 or Graphic Health Warning Law mandates the Department of Health (DOH) to release new graphic health warning labels for cigarette packs in every two years.

DOH released the new templates on March 3 .

The new templates show the health dangers of smoking cigarettes such as gangrene, emphysema, neck cancer, mouth cancer, asthma, still and premature birth.

“The old ones are saturated already and they’re somehow numb so they just ignore those old graphic warnings. So part of the strategy is to ensure that you have new graphic health warnings each time,” said health chief, Francisco Duque.

The Graphic Health Warning Law states that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will be the lead agency to monitor and implement the said law especially in terms of imposing taxes.

“We set it on March 3 and the monitoring and the implementation are supposed to be done by BIR, in terms of taxes,” said DOH Usec. Eric Domingo.

Based on the figures of the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1.4 billion smokers worldwide, and 4.9 million die yearly due to smoking.

The DOH figures show that 240 Filipino smokers die every day.

The health department is hoping that the implementation of the said law will help lower the cases of respiratory illnesses and death cases due to smoking. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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