Smoking is one of the most important health problems worldwide and is one of the main risk factors for the development of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels), neoplastic (tumor development), lung and respiratory diseases.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking will cause 8 million deaths per year by 2030.
Contrary to popular belief, smoking is not only responsible for lung cancer, but is also the main risk factor for non-neoplastic respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is also one of the most important cardiovascular risk factors because smokers have a risk of death from coronary artery disease up to 5 times higher than non-smokers. Also, a lifetime smoker has a 50% chance of dying from a disease directly related to smoking and will often not live beyond the age of 45 to 55. In general, the smoker’s quality of life is seriously affected by the higher frequency of breathing (such as cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis and asthma) and heart conditions (such as hypertension, stroke, and heart attack).
For this reason, more and more prevention initiatives are being taken at a national and international level. One of the first international laws of 2004 was the “WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)“, an initiative that expressed the need to combat tobacco smoke for the benefit of public health.
Numerous studies have confirmed the effectiveness of smoking bans on the trend of hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction. Several studies have been conducted showing that the number of critical heart attacks has decreased dramatically after the introduction of this law.
Addiction to nicotine in the form of cigarettes is the main obstacle to smoking cessation. However, psychological and social factors also play an essential role, so there is no general smoking cessation method for everyone. Most smokers light their first cigarette in adolescence, often under the influence of their companions, when they first try to “feel older”. Educational initiatives involving school and family are fundamental and most appropriate to start with health education and, in particular, the prevention of smoking habits.
Quitting smoking without any support is not easy. It has been shown that the more help and support you get, the more likely you’re able to give up smoking permanently.