Tobacco-induced heart disease kills 1.9m yearly, says WHO

No less than 1.9 million people die annually from tobacco-induced heart disease, according to a new brief released by the World Health Organisation, World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia.

This report released on Tuesday ahead of World Heart Day to be marked on September 29 suggests that one in five of all deaths from heart disease results from smoking tobacco.

The reports also suggests that smokers are more likely to experience an acute cardiovascular event at a younger age than non-smokers.

Just a few cigarettes a day, occasional smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke, increase the risk of heart disease. But if tobacco users take immediate action and quit, then their risk of heart disease will decrease by 50% after one year of not smoking.

“Given the current level of evidence on tobacco and cardiovascular health and the health benefits of quitting smoking, failing to offer cessation services to patients with heart disease could be considered clinical malpractice or negligence. Cardiology societies should train their members in smoking cessation, as well as to promote and even drive tobacco control advocacy efforts,” said Dr. Eduardo Bianco, Chair of the World Heart Federation Tobacco Expert Group.”

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