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Tobaccoism

tabaquisme Vall d'Hebron

Tobacco consumption is the leading cause of health loss and premature and preventable death. It is one of the most important risk factors for the main chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well a large number of cancers. In addition, passive exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and other diseases in non-smokers. The harm caused directly by smoking mainly affects smokers, a quarter of whom will die during their working life and have lost between twenty or twenty-five years of their life. But tobacco consumption also affects society as a whole.

Description

It is estimated that 90% of lung cancers are caused by tobacco (5-8% of which are caused by passive smoking!). The most important is that an active smoker has a 13 times higher risk of lung cancer than a person who does not smoke, and a passive smoker has a 1.5 time higher risk (on average).

The harmful agent is smoke, which is composed of some 4000 different chemical substances, of which more than 40 are carcinogenic. There is a clear relationship of increased risk with several factors such as: the age you start smoking, the duration, the pattern of inhalation and obviously also the degree of consumption.

The benefits of giving up smoking are very clear; ex-smokers, ten years after quitting the habit, have the same risk of contracting diseases as non-smokers. Giving up smoking for good, however, is not easy, even if it is very possible. If in doubt, you are advised to consult a health professional and follow their advice.

 

 

Symptoms

 

Tobaccoism is a drug addiction involving behavioural, social and pharmacological factors.

Smokers' symptoms start with an irritating and chronic cough and may result in more serious problems such as heart attacks, shortness of breath, strokes or cancer in various parts of the body, mainly the lungs, the bladder, etc.

 

 

How is afeccted by the condition?

 

Smokers are people who consume tobacco, whether regularly or sporadically. The consequences depend on several factors, such as number of cigarettes, depth of inhalation, retention time of smoke in the lungs and years of consumption.

Passive smokers are people who do not smoke but inhale the tobacco smoke of others.

 

 

Diagnosis

 

Diagnosis is based on the medical history taken from all patients when they attend a health consultation, whether with a nurse or a doctor. 

 

 

Typical treatment 

 

In the majority of cases, smokers try to give up smoking through their own efforts and most succeed.

In other cases they need the help of professionals, such as nurses, doctors or psychologists.

When it comes to giving up smoking, psychological treatment is always very important; sometimes drugs are also needed, such as nicotine derivatives (patches, gum, sachets or oral sprays), varenicline and bupropion, which have proved effective with smokers.

 

Typical test

 

Carboximeter breath analysis: determines the amount of carbon monoxide in exhaled air.

Fagerström test: for nicotine dependence

Richmond Test: assesses smoker’s motivation for giving up smoking 

 

 

Prevention

 

Giving up smoking is the best way to prevent the consequences of tobaccoism

 

 

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Cross-departmental services

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Related professionals
Dra. Magda
Campins Martí
Head of Department
Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology
Epidemiology and Public Health