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August 27th, 2012:

Non-smokers benefit most from smoking ban: study

Non-smokers benefit most from smoking ban: study

August 27th, 201Description: Non-smokers benefit most from smoking ban: study2 in Health
After the smoking ban was introduced in Bremen, Germany, the rate of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) diminished by 26% in non-smokers but remained almost constant in active smokers, according to research presented today at the ESC Congress 2012. The results were presented by Dr Johannes Schmuckerfrom Germany.

Many European countries have passed anti-smoking legislation which bans smoking from restaurants, bars and public buildings. After implementation of such a smoking ban on 1 January 2008 in the metropolitan area of Bremen in northwest Germany (800,000 inhabitants) a 16% decline in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) was observed. STEMI is the severest form of myocardial infarction.

For the study, 3,545 STEMIs in the Bremen-STEMI-Registry which occurred between 2006 and 2010 were analyzed. Figure 1 shows the average number of STEMIs per month in the total population, smokers and non-smokers in 2006-2007 and 2008-2010. DrSchmucker said: “There were more non-smokers than smokers, which explains why the non-smokers group had more STEMIs registered.”

For the total population in 2006 and 2007, before the smoking ban was passed, averages of 65 STEMIs were registered per month. In 2008 to 2010, after the smoking ban was passed, the number fell by 16% to an average of 55 STEMIs per month. “This confirms that the smoking ban had a positive impact on the population as a whole by decreasing the number of STEMIs,” said Dr Schmucker.

A nearly constant rate of STEMIs was observed in active smokers during 2006-2010. In 2006-2007 active smokers had an average of 25 STEMIs per month. In 2008-2010, they had an average of 26 STEMIs per month, a 4% increase. Dr Schmucker said: “Active smokers are inhaling such high doses of tobacco smoke that being exposed to lesspassive smoke in public venues is not going to change the risk for that particular group.”

In non-smokers there was a 26% decrease in STEMIs, from an average of 39 STEMIs per month in 2006-2007 to an average of 29 STEMIs per month in 2008-2010. The steepest decline in the non-smoking group was detected in young non-smokers; in this group the average number of STEMIs per month was 31% lower in 2008-2010 compared to 2006-2007.

“The reduction in the occurrence of this severest and deadliest form of myocardial infarction in the metropolitan area of Bremen can be partially attributed to the commencement of anti-smoking legislation,” said Dr Schmucker. “Non-smokers and especially non-smokers under the age of 65 benefited most from the implementation of the law, indicating the harmful effects of passive smoking. This suggests that expanding anti-smoking legislation could reduce the occurrence of STEMIs even further in the future.”

Provided by European Society of Cardiology

“Non-smokers benefit most from smoking ban: study.” August 27th, 2012.

Passive smoking increases platelet activation in healthy people

Passive smoking increases platelet activation in healthy people August 27, 2012 in Cardiology Enlarge

“It is well known that passive smoking is harmful for cardiovascular health, but the mechanism has not yet been discovered,” said Dr Kaya. “We investigated the effects of passive smoking on the levels of three parameters – mean platelet volume (MPV), carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and lactate – in an effort to further understand this mechanism. We also looked at the correlation between the three parameters.” Mean platelet volume (MPV) is a well established indicator of platelet activation that is increased in acute thrombotic events. It is suspected that carbon monoxide (CO) plays a major role in cigarette smoke-induced cardiovascular diseases. When CO binds with hemoglobin (Hb) in red blood cells it is called COHb. Lactate accumulates in the blood when the supply of oxygen to blood cells is limited. For the study, 55 healthy nonsmoker volunteers (males 30%; mean age 26±5 years) were prospectively enrolled. Blood samples for measurements of MPV, COHb and lactate were taken at baseline and after spending one an hour in a smoking room. The blood levels of all three parameters were statistically higher after subjects were exposed to passive smoking (see figure 1). COHb increased from 0.8±0.3% at baseline to 1.2±0.4% after one hour in a smoking room (p=0.001). Lactate increased from 0.70±0.2mmol/L to 2.2±0.9mmol/L (p=0.001). MPV increased from 7.8±0.4 femtolitres (fL) to 8.5±0.6fL (p= 0.001). Dr Kaya said: “These results show that passive smoking increases platelet activation and increases CO and lactate levels in the blood.” The researchers found significant correlations between MPV and COHb levels (r= 0.55, p=0.0001) and between MPV and lactate levels (r= 0.65, p=0.0001) after smoking. There was also a remarkable relation between COHb and lactate levels after smoking (r= 0.78, p=0.0001). Dr Kaya said: “Previous studies have suggested that the chemicals in cigarette smoke, especially nicotine and CO, increase platelet-activating factor. The correlations found in our study suggest that the CO in cigarette smoke also increases MPV levels. It is likely that lactate levels increased because oxygen levels in the blood dropped as CO increased.” He concluded: “We have shown that 1 hour exposure to passive smoking increases platelet activation, which could be the mechanism by which it contributes to increased risk of thrombotic events in healthy people. It is likely that prolonged exposure to passive smoking could have even greater effects. Healthy people should avoid exposure to passive smoking so that they do not increase their risk of thrombotic events.” Provided by European Society of Cardiology

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Big Tobacco’s property rights trumped by duty to protect youth


Big Tobacco’s property rights trumped by duty to protect youth

Monday, August 27, 2012 • Jeremy Muir

Property rights and the security of intellectual property reduce the risks of doing business and provide the basis for a healthy, thriving economy.

Innovative companies invest huge amounts in research and development because they will own the technologies and techniques they develop.

The same is true for the brands companies invest vast sums in (with much fewer benefits for consumers) . . . hence British American Tobacco NZ’s campaign: “If I Create It, I Should Own It.”

BAT New Zealand is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to counter the Government’s push for plain packaging of cigarettes.

It is on a hiding to nothing, though, with Health Minister Tony Ryall able to confidently say BAT is wasting its money. We can thank our friends across the ditch for this, after Australia’s highest court this month upheld the world’s toughest law on cigarette promotion — prohibiting tobacco company logos on packs.

The Ministry of Health has put out a consultation paper on plain packaging and expects to report back on the findings in October.

Mr Ryall says New Zealanders have turned against tobacco companies and their marketing strategies. This is the crux of the issue, and why Big Tobacco has to accept its fate.

All rights in a civilised society come with an obligation of social responsibility — and it is society that determines how these highly subjective calls are made.

Compared to other addictive drugs, tobacco has a privileged position in society. This is for historical and cultural reasons — and the slow realisation of just how poisonous a product it is, which the industry shamefully fought to suppress.

Yes, British American Tobacco owns its shiny, seductive logos — but its executives will soon have to content themselves with displaying them in their offices.

Society does not want this business to thrive, it wants it to wither and die. Keeping its product behind walls, in plain boxes, and ramping up its price is how it intends to achieve this.