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
MAR 08, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 08, 2020
Cashier and Healthcare Jobs Increase Risk of Heart Problems in Women
Stress has long been known to be a major risk factor for developing heart disease. Now, researchers from Drexel Universi ...
MAR 13, 2020
Health & Medicine
MAR 13, 2020
Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Really Help Heart Health?
Are omega-3 fatty acid supplements part of your daily routine? Recommendations of intake vary worldwide but typically in ...
MAR 25, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 25, 2020
Exclusive Breastfeeding Promotes Moms Heart Health
New mothers face a vast number of choices as they welcome the new child into the world. One such choice is how to feed t ...
MAR 29, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 29, 2020
Coronavirus Damages Heart Tissue, Not Just the Lungs
Although most severe cases of the novel coronavirus involve respiratory failure, new research has found that the virus m ...
APR 07, 2020
Immunology
APR 07, 2020
Too Much Salt Is Bad for the Immune System
Excessive salt intake is associated with health consequences for more than just cardiovascular status; the immune system ...
APR 21, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 21, 2020
How to Read COVID-19 News (Without Going Crazy)
  It can feel like COVID-19 news is consuming the country, and taking all the toilet paper and N95-masks with it. N ...
Loading Comments...