The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) warns that all forms of smoking are bad for the heart. Joep Perk, MD, ESC prevention spokesperson, states, “Smoking of all types is still, without any competition, the strongest risk factor for cardiovascular disease. There has been a lot of research over the past 2-3 years which makes us very clear that all tobacco use, including the waterpipe, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, is simply not good for your health.”

A news report from Science Daily notes that studies suggest that waterpipe smoking, or hookah, may be associated with even greater toxin exposure because sessions are longer and involve more and larger “puffs,” leading to smoke inhalation as much as 100 times more than from a cigarette.

In regards to e-cigarettes, Perk explains, “Electronic cigarettes may be moderately effective in helping smokers quit but they need the same marketing restrictions as cigarettes to avoid uptake by young people and non-smokers.” With tobacco use among adolescents increasing, Perk stresses the importance of stopping teenagers from beginning to smoke.

Perk asserts, “If you start smoking in your teens you won’t suffer immediately but you start a process of vascular damage that you will have to pay for later in life. It’s the worst thing you can do to your health.”

Perk adds, “The tobacco industry knows how to infiltrate youth activities by promoting cigarettes during rave parties and discos. This is unacceptable and we need stricter controls. Legislative measures on packaging, no sale of tobacco products to under-18s and forbidding smoking in public places including school yards is essential.”

The ESC proposes e-cigarettes be regulated as a tobacco and medical product in the European Commission’s Tobacco Products Directive. In addition, the ESC is lobbying for the protection of young people in the Tobacco Products Directive through a variety of measures, including banning flavors, displaying health warnings on 75% of the back and front of packages, and requiring medicine authorization for all non-tobacco nicotine containing products,

Perk says, “Smoking of all types is the number one villain in the battlefield of cardiovascular disease prevention. Smoking is two times more significant for heart attacks on a population level than nutritional habits, physical activity and other risk factors. Countries that want to get rid of heart attacks should get rid of smoking before even thinking about anything else.”

Source: Science Daily