Tag Archives: smoking

What does your doctor mean by cardiac risk?

Cardiac risk calculators are frequently used to predict the chances of people having heart disease.

Population statistics are used to work out the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, things like being overweight or smoking. This information gives doctors a good idea of what your heart attack risk is, based on your lifestyle.

What’s your cardiac risk?

Reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke for people as they get older can be helped by changing individual factors. Age is one risk factor that cannot be modified, but others such as cholesterol and blood pressure can be.
Using these early predictions for a raised risk of a major heart event within 10 years is a guide for lifestyle changes and medication that can bring the predicted risk down. If you are at higher than average risk of heart problems you may find your GP prescribes you statins or blood pressure drugs, for example.

Ask one of our pharmacists if you want more information about cardiac risk calculators.


Smoking ban linked to drop in infant deaths

Further proof that anti-smoking laws have delivered definite health benefits comes from a study of childbirths between 1995 and 2011 which suggests that almost 1,500 stillbirths and newborn deaths were averted in the first four years after the law to prohibit smoking in public places was introduced.

Smoking ban keeping our babies healthy

Stillbirths have dropped by almost 8 per cent in England since the smoking ban was introduced, and the number of babies dying shortly after birth has dropped by a similar amount, according to estimates.

Additionally more than 5,000 fewer babies were born with a low birth weight of under 2.5kg, the researchers estimate. Smoking and smoke-exposure during pregnancy are known to have long-term adverse effects on the health of unborn children, including increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

If you haven’t quit yet and the time is right for you, pop in and have a chat.

The official position on e-cigs

Have you tried to quit smoking using nicotine patches, given up and moved onto e-cigs as an alternative to the original cancer sticks?

There’s no clear guidance about the place of e-cigs in reducing the harm caused by smoking. Although e-cigs are widely available they are not yet regulated so their safety, effectiveness and quality cannot be assured. However, they are likely to be less harmful than cigarettes, says NICE.

E-cigs: Is there an official position?

The official advice is that the best way to reduce the harm from smoking is to stop completely. However, nicotine inhaled from smoking tobacco is highly addictive, which is why people find it so difficult to stop – but the main harm from smoking is from the tar in tobacco.

For people who are unable to stop in one step, reducing how much they smoke with the support of licensed nicotine-containing products such as patches or gum, and advice from stop smoking services, can help.

Confused? Ask your pharmacist for advice on how best to quit.

Men’s health in focus

Men’s Health Week recently took place Since men are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol to hazardous levels and be overweight or obese the focus is on leading a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy dad

The sad fact is that one in five men don’t make it to retirement age. The biggest single cause of death in men is cancer, and 75% of premature deaths from coronary heart disease among men.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital for avoiding these sorts of diseases, yet men are more likely than women to smoke and drink alcohol at hazardous levels. Over 65% of men are overweight or obese. Participation in activity amongst men declines with age: 83% of men aged 16-24 met the recommendations for physical activity, compared with 57% aged 65-74.

Think about this next time you grumble about the failing NHS. Are you part of the problem?


Smoking ban results in 11,000 fewer child hospital admissions a year

If you ever needed evidence of the benefits of smoke-free legislation, this is it. One of the most comprehensive investigations into the impact of the smoking ban on child health in England has shown it has resulted in over 11,000 fewer admissions to hospital a year from respiratory infections in children.

Child in hospital

Researchers analysed 1.6 million hospital admissions in children aged 0-14 across England from 2001-2012. The results found that the introduction of legislation was followed by an immediate reduction of 13.8% in admission to hospital for lower respiratory tract infections. Admissions for upper respiratory tract infections also decreased, but at a more gradual rate.

While passive smoking is bad for everyone, children are especially vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke as their lungs are smaller and are still developing.

If you have children and want to quit, then speak to your pharmacist who can provide advice and support, as well as a range of nicotine replacement options to help you kick the habit.

Smoke‐free legislation and childhood hospitalisations for respiratory tract infections Authors: Jasper V. Been; Christopher Millett; John Tayu Lee; Constant P. van Schayck; Aziz Sheikh DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00014615
European Respiratory Society (ERS)

Two in 3 smokers will die from their habit

If you need any further encouragement to quit smoking, then be advised that a large Australian study of more than 200,000 people has confirmed that up to two in every three smokers will die from their habit if they continue to smoke.


Smokers have around three times higher risk of premature death compared to those who have never smoked, and will die an estimated 10 years earlier than non-smokers, the study showed.

It also found that compared with non-smokers, smoking just 10 cigarettes a day doubles the risk of dying and smoking a pack a day increases the risk four- to five-fold.

So speak to your pharmacist about how to go about quitting, where to go for support and which products are available to help you. You could consider e-cigarettes, but why switch from one addiction to another if you don’t have to?

Need help to quit smoking?

The number of smokers in England has hit a record low. Only 18.7% of people now smoke and the number is continuing to fall, according to the Office of National Statistics. If you are still trying to quit the habit, visit your local pharmacy and ask about how they can help. You will be in good company in wanting to stop smoking.

You can do it!
You can do it!

Smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the country – accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths in England alone every year. One in every two long-term smokers will die prematurely from a smoking related disease unless they quit. Time to see your pharmacist!