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1.9m die yearly from tobacco-induced heart disease, says WHO

Every year, 1.9 million people die from tobacco-induced heart disease, according to a new brief released om Tuesday by the World Health Organisation, World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia ahead of World Heart Day to be marked on September 29.

This equates to one in five of all deaths from heart disease, warn the report’s authors, who urge tobacco users to quit and avoid a heart attack.

They stressed that smokers are more likely to experience an acute cardiovascular event at a younger age than non-smokers.

Just a few cigarettes a day, occasional smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke, increase the risk of heart disease. But if tobacco users take immediate action and quit, then their risk of heart disease will decrease by 50% after one year of not smoking.

“Given the current level of evidence on tobacco and cardiovascular health and the health benefits of quitting smoking, failing to offer cessation services to patients with heart disease could be considered clinical malpractice or negligence. Cardiology societies should train their members in smoking cessation, as well as to promote and even drive tobacco control advocacy efforts,” said Dr. Eduardo Bianco, Chair of the World Heart Federation Tobacco Expert Group.”

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