MAY 04, 2017 7:17 PM PDT

Social Smoking Just As Bad for the Heart As Daily Smoking

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

For social smokers who consider their cardiovascular health to be in good status because they aren’t smoking every day, an unfortunate reality check may be in order. A recent Ohio State University study found a troubling new connection between social smoking and a risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol akin to that of people who smoke every day.

Credit: The Conversation

The new study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, is the first to investigate these risk factors in the context of social smoking specifically. Researchers from the study define social smoking as a habit where people do not smoke every day but do regularly smoke in social situations.

Of nearly forty thousand people surveyed, ten percent identified as social smokers and 17 percent as current smokers. Examining both groups together, 75 percent had high blood pressure and 54 percent had high cholesterol.

Identification, intervention, and prevention are key for both regular and social smokers, the study’s authors glean from their findings. Questions asked of the patient by the doctor need to specifically address social smoking, so people can receive adequate warnings about what even occasional smoking breaks can do to their cardiovascular health.

Also, the author include, for everyday smokers, it’s not good enough for them to just smoke less. "Not smoking at all is the best way to go. Even smoking in a social situation is detrimental to your cardiovascular health," explained lead author Kate Gawlik.

A 2009 study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine identified social smoking as a “stable form of chronic low-level consumption” rather than a “transient behavior associated with smoking initiation or cessation.” The study also found that social smoking rates in the United States are increasing.

"These are striking findings and they have such significance for clinical practice and for population health," said senior author Bernadette Melnyk. "Simple healthy lifestyle behavior changes including appropriate aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, stress management and -- very importantly -- smoking cessation can do away with much of the risk of chronic disease.”

Source: Ohio State University, American Journal of Preventative Medicine

About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 02, 2020
Cardiology
Managing the Mitochondria After a Heart Attack
JUL 02, 2020
Managing the Mitochondria After a Heart Attack
Heart attacks are an unfortunately common occurrence across the country. One of the biggest consequences of a heart atta ...
JUL 12, 2020
Cardiology
A Beneficial Microbe Can Reduce the Risk of Artery Disease
JUL 12, 2020
A Beneficial Microbe Can Reduce the Risk of Artery Disease
Trillions of microbes call our bodies home, and the ones that live in the gut can have a powerful impact on human health ...
JUL 28, 2020
Cardiology
Looking to Newborns for Help Healing Scars on the Heart
JUL 28, 2020
Looking to Newborns for Help Healing Scars on the Heart
Scars are a badge of honor to many, but they are really just a consequence of the body’s repair response. The body ...
SEP 15, 2020
Cardiology
Dopamine Could Cause Heart Arrhythmia After Heart Failure
SEP 15, 2020
Dopamine Could Cause Heart Arrhythmia After Heart Failure
Everyone knows that friend with a tattoo of a molecule of dopamine. Usually associated with the pleasure response, it is ...
SEP 17, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Blood Vessels on a Chip Test Clotting
SEP 17, 2020
Blood Vessels on a Chip Test Clotting
Blood clotting, also known as coagulation, is a critical biological mechanism to prevent excessive blood loss in the eve ...
SEP 24, 2020
Cardiology
Analyzing Genetic Mutations in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
SEP 24, 2020
Analyzing Genetic Mutations in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
With the advancement of genomics and genome sequencing, it has become possible for researchers to study diseases down to ...
Loading Comments...