MADRID .- First, smoking was banned in places of work and some bars and restaurants. Now, the Minister of Health is considering expanding this measure to all public locations closed, without exception. To what extent are the rules of Trinidad Jiménez supported by science and services to prevent diseases in both active and passive smokers? Two reviews published this week in the medical journals ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology’ and ‘Journal of the American Heart Association‘ offer compelling data that support the most restrictive policies.
These works have analyzed the results of 11 and 13 studies, respectively, developed in the United States, Canada, and Europe. After observing the effects produced by this type of anti-smoking measures in more than 24 million people, the experts of the first review concluded that not only decrease the number of smokers and the sale of tobacco; they can also reduce coronary heart attacks up to 26% per year.
Similar conclusions were obtained by the scientists of the second review, who states that, after the first year with restrictive measures, the percentage of heart attacks was 17% lower than in other communities without such public health initiatives. “These figures were even better as time passed, and at three years, it was 36% less,” they point out.
“prohibiting smoking in public places seems to be tremendously effective not only in reducing heart attacks, but it can also help prevent lung cancer and lung emphysema, two diseases that develop much more slowly than cardiovascular problems,” the researchers say — authors of the review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
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Although the data are different according to the geographical area (neither genetics nor risk factors are the same in all populations), all the studies point in the same direction. That is, “not smoking at work or in public spaces significantly reduces the incidence of acute myocardial infarction, especially in women, young people and passive smokers,” according to the review.…
Ya se sabe, por estudios previos, que estos últimos, sólo por el hecho de inhalar el humo del tabaco, tienen un riesgo 30% mayor de sufrir ataques cardiacos. Lo que les ocurre, según David Meyers, principal autor de la investigación publicada en ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology’, es que “el humo ambiental va disminuyendo la capacidad funcional del corazón y afecta a la función sanguínea de transportar el oxígeno”.
Marcos Rodríguez Esteban, a cardiologist at the University Hospital Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, explains that “tobacco smoke accelerates the formation of atheromatous plaques and facilitates all the mechanisms to break and trigger angina pectoris. Myocardium or sudden death, it also causes different types of cancer, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. “
The good thing is that “in general, the effects are observed immediately, both in active and passive smokers, the incidence of acute myocardial infarction begins to subside within a few days of quitting,” the authors of this work underscore.
Dr. Rodríguez Esteban explains it this way: “Tobacco immediately produces alterations on platelets, the inflammatory system and the reactivity of blood vessels, all of which favors the onset of a heart attack. , these changes can revert in a short time “.
However, adds the specialist, “the chronic consumption of tobacco also produces irreversible alterations in the blood vessels, so we must think that the later we give up smoking, the later the risk of having problems derived from it will decrease.”
According to Steven Schroeder, from the Department of Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco (United States), in an editorial that accompanies the review of the ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology’, “exposure to environmental smoke for people with latent coronary heart disease is almost as dangerous as smoking tobacco. “
Given the beneficial effects of these anti-smoking measures, adds the author of the editorial, “cardiologists should support them, as well as defend other proposals such as increasing taxes on cigarettes.” These initiatives, he says, “would probably prevent many young people from starting to smoke and increase the smoking cessation of those who already smoked.”