Impact of Tobacco Smoking and Smoking Cessation on Cardiovascular Risk and Disease

Christopher Bullen


Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2008;6(6):883-895. 

In This Article

Expert Commentary

The beneficial effects of smoking cessation in cardiovascular patients and those at-risk are now indisputable. Effective treatments exist but much more needs to be done to make them more widely available. For example, NRT should be made more affordable and widely available to prompt and support more quit attempts.[142] The German pathologist Rudolf Virchow, of Virchow's triad fame, asserted that ‘physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor'.[143] Perhaps if he were still alive, Virchow would argue that physicians are also the ‘natural attorneys' of the smoker. In the light of the alarming forecasts for the global tobacco epidemic, health professionals around the world must become more active at incorporating simple cessation support into their practice. Those who care for people with cardiovascular disease are ideally placed to be tobacco-control advocates: to actively support smoke-free hospitals and clinics, workplaces and public places, and to advocate for other tobacco control policies that have potential to benefit both individuals and populations.[144] Cessation treatment and tobacco control should also be integrated into the education curricula of physicians, nurses and allied health workers.[144] To neglect to provide advice, offer treatment and support to help smokers quit, and to fail to advocate for more aggressive tobacco control measures in the face of the overwhelming evidence for the benefits of cessation and avoidance of tobacco smoke exposure, may be seen as a failure by clinicians to provide best practice.[145]


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