Information initiatives on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), whose central message this year is âI commit and I quitâ, are being implemented jointly and under the auspices of the Municipality of Athens, the Hellenic Society of Pulmonology and the Hellenic Society of Cardiology.
The presentation of these actions and important data on the effects of smoking, especially during a pandemic, and the importance of stopping it, took place at a press conference, courtesy of Pfizer Hellas, which was hosted at the Seraphio from the Municipality of Athens (Ehelidon 19 & Piraeus 144), in the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Health and Education of the Municipality of Athens, Mr. Emmanouil Kalamboka, Obstetrician-Gynecologist Surgeon, Doctor from the University of Athens.
In the cooperation protocol signed between the Municipality of Athens and the EPE with the aim of preventing respiratory infections and smoking, as well as stopping smoking and treating respiratory infections and in particular the pandemic, the deputy to the Mayor of Health and Education of the Municipality of Athens, Mr. Emmanuel Kalambokas, Obstetrician – Gynecological surgeon.
As he said, World No Tobacco Day will be celebrated with the lighting of the Fountain of Omonia, with a webinar on teenage smoking prevention and the operation of smoking cessation clinics by Ltd. in June.
Mr. Stylianos Loukidis, Chairman of Ltd., Professor of EKPA Respirology, University Pulmonary Clinic GNA “Attikon”, stressed that “Today’s event marks the start of an important collaboration between Ltd. and CSR in defense of public health.
A collaboration which further highlights the need for all stakeholders to work together to fight against smoking, a predisposing and aggravating factor of many respiratory and heart diseases. And in this sense, I have the great pleasure to announce that Ltd. decided to create a parallel Tobacco & Environmental Control Council, in line with the standards of the corresponding European Pulmonary Society (ERS-TCC).
In turn, Mr. Ioannis Kanakakis, President of CSR and Director of GNA Therapeutic Clinic “Alexandra”, said that on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, today we are launching our cooperation with Ltd., with the common aim of informing the public on the harmful effects of smoking on the lungs and cardiovascular system. In this context, a special information campaign is being carried out on passive smoking and the benefits of smoking cessation. In addition, as the Hellenic Cardiac Society, in recent years we have focused on informing and educating young people, starting from school age with an interactive program giving a common message of life without addictions. We are confident that these efforts will be strengthened and continue successfully through our cooperation with Ltd. “.
M / s. Katsaounou Friday, Associate Professor of Respirology, Faculty of Medicine, EKPA, Board Member, Former Chair of ERS Smoking Cessation and Medical Education Team, said: âCurrently over 70% of 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide do not have access to smoking cessation services. This gap has widened further over the past year as healthcare professionals, especially pulmonologists, pledge to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why WHO has focused this year’s World Day communication on empowering 100 million tobacco users to make an effort to quit smoking, by creating support networks and expanding access to smoking cessation services, in line with the commitments of the EIA (www.denkapnizo.org), which will be done by scaling up existing services, as well as launching innovative digital services, based on up-to-date data, such as the European Horizon Eurest-plus program, on which the TPD assessment report is based and in which we participate as EKPA Medical School. and ERS “.
Coronavirus and smoking
M / s. Barbaresso sapphire, The pulmonologist, co-ordinator of the Smoking Cessation and Health Promotion Group of Ltd., said, “At the heart of scientific interest is the debate over whether smoking is associated with risk. increased Sars-Cov-2 infection or disease severity. According to scientific data from peer-reviewed studies, to date, there is no strong evidence that smokers are protected against infection with the virus. On the contrary, more and more data is emerging, which links smokers to more severe disease and a worse prognosis and correlation mechanisms.In addition, smokers have an increased risk of infection, because they remove the mask and because that they often touch the face and mouth with their fingers, after having previously touched other potentially contaminated objects (lighters, matches). in the midst of a pandemic, when there is great pressure on health systems and treating diseases that are clearly linked and affected by smoking, smoking cessation is the best thing that can be done to take care of his own health and that of those around him â.
More details on the association of smoking with COVID-19 were provided by Mr. Konstantinos Toutouzas, CSR Secretary, Professor of Cardiology, National University Clinic, GNA “Hippocrates”, claiming that the role of smoking in infectious disease of COVID-19 has not been clarified, as there are differing opinions on its role.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the relationship between smoking and disease severity and mortality in adult patients with COVID-19. From 18 studies involving 6,310 patients, smoking was found to increase the risk of more serious disease by 34%.
The association of smoking with an increased risk of death was not statistically significant. Age and frequency of diabetes were also found to correlate negatively with the risk of more serious disease, i.e. the role of smoking as a risk factor was greater in young patients. without diabetes. In addition, a large prospective study was recently published which found that smoking was associated with an increased risk of developing symptoms of COVID-19 infection, as well as an increased risk of symptoms.
“Patients with SARS-CoV-2 who smoked had a higher symptom burden and were more likely to need treatment than non-smokers.”
M / s. Martha Andritsou, Pulmonologist, 2019st Intensive Care Clinic of EKPA, GNA “O EVANGELISMOS”, coordinator of the smoking cessation and health promotion team of Ltd. referred to new tobacco products and their use as tools to quit smoking. “As scientists, we agree with the statement by the Director-General of WHO that” we must be guided by science and evidence, and not by the marketing campaigns of the tobacco industry – the same industry that has been cheating for decades to sell products that have killed hundreds of millions of people “. compromises its smoking cessation and the medical methodology indicated by international guidelines for this purpose, such as the combination of counseling and medication. In this context, the ERS and the EIA do not accept as members persons in conflict of interest with the tobacco industry “.
New tobacco products were also mentioned by Mr..Charalambos Vlachopoulos, EKPA Professor of Cardiology, XNUMXst University Cardiology Clinic, GNA “Ippokratio”, stressing that “electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products are promoted as a means of reduced exposure to harmful components or reduced risk (the two concepts are not the same Electronic cigarettes are also suggested as a way to quit smoking. However, the great heterogeneity of electronic cigarettes makes it difficult to document the benefits that are advocated on the one hand, but also the potential risks on the other hand.
Mr. Vlachopoulos also stressed that âSmoke heating systems are not a method of smoking cessation and are used by those who choose to continue to smoke. Data on the cardiovascular safety of smoke heaters are so far limited. It is reasonable to assume that their use involves some degree of risk.
It will take many years to fully document the risk by calculating the increase in events, such as myocardial infarction or stroke. Until then, the scientific community is trying to predict this risk using health indicators. A recent University University Cardiology Clinic study found that, like e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products directly increase aortic stiffness. What must absolutely be emphasized is that the term âmodifiedâ risk is not synonymous with absence of risk.
Information on these products by the tobacco industry itself requires special attention and vigilance on the part of the state â.