Strong link between smoking and TB

Karen Slama of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and a team of researchers reviewed a large body of evidence and concluded that smoking increases TB rates. This means that tobacco increases the pool of people moving to TB disease.

‘€œAlong every step of the chain, tobacco adds risk,’€ Slama explained.

Slama presented her results at the 38th Union meeting in Cape Town.

‘€œThe risk of TB is also increased when people are exposed to secondhand smoke,’€ Slama said.

She said there were not a lot of countries where the TB Control Programmes looked at smoking cessation.

Tobacco is currently the world’€™s leading cause of death

Dr Yussuf Saloojee, head of South Africa’€™s National Council Against Smoking, said the country had made significant progress since 1991 and that 2003 statistics had revealed that 23-billion cigarettes had been consumed in that year, compared to 40-billion 12 years prior.

Saloojee ascribed the success to an increase in taxes on tobacco products, the banning of advertising and promotions and the creation of smoke-free public places.

He said the next push would be to add picture based health warnings to cigarette packets.

‘€œHealth messages become stale and wear out. A picture tells a better story than a thousand words,’€ Saloojee said.

Picture based health warnings in countries such as Canada are of patients with cancer of the mouth or face or aborted fetuses.

Author

Free to Share

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.


Stay in the loop

We love that you love visiting our site. Our content is free, but to continue reading, please register.

Newsletter Subscription