Social smoking carries same heart-disease risks

San Francisco: A US study indicates that social smokers’ carries the same high blood pressure and high cholesterol risk, identical to those who smoke every day.

Published on Sunday in the American Journal of Health Promotion, the study is the first to look at blood pressure and cholesterol in social smokers, Xinhua news agency reported.

Social smokers are defined as those who do not smoke cigarettes daily, but only during certain social situations.

Smoking is a risk factor for unhealthy blood pressure and cholesterol and both are significant contributors to cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men and women worldwide.

While 17 per cent of 39,555 people surveyed from February 2012 to February 2016 in the study called themselves current smokers and more than 10 per cent said they were social smokers, meaning that they did not smoke every day, about 75 per cent of these current and social smokers had high blood pressure and roughly 54 per cent had high cholesterol.

In addition, social smokers in the study were more likely to be younger, between 21 and 40 years old, male and Hispanic.

“These are striking findings and they have such significance for clinical practice and for population health,” said study senior author Bernadette Melnyk, dean of Ohio State University’s College of Nursing.