In the past 10 years, 880,000 people have died from cigarette smoking in Italy alone and about 7 million in Europe: preventable deaths. 10 years after the publication of the bestseller ‘101 Reasons Not to Smoke’ (published by Guerini), the authors and members of the Scientific Council of Mohre, Mediterranean Observatory for Harm Reduction in Medicinetake stock of the new discoveries based on the analysis of context: “Something has changed in the past decade and it is not reassuring – says Oscar Bertetto, medical oncologist former director of the Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta Oncology Network – We have noticed an increase in the incidence of cancer in women, especially lung and bladder. Although most often men get sick, it is women who risk their lives the most because women are too often diagnosed too late”. increase in cases in women is largely explained by the growing number of smokers”.
The Airtum (Italian Association of Cancer Registries) speaks of 40,800 new diagnoses of lung cancer in 2020 (27,500 in men and 13,300 in women), recalled by Mohre. Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Italy, with about 27,100 new cases diagnosed in our country in 2018: 21,500 in men and 5,600 in women. Smokers are 4 to 5 times more likely to get sick than non-smokers. Women also find it more difficult to quit smoking and as a result we risk losing the benefits of new and targeted therapies in terms of healing and survival.
“First of all the pandemic has led to an increase in the number of smokersalmost a million more from the 2021 ISS data. But unlike 10 years ago, we have a huge amount of data related to the safety of electronic cigarette and its potential as damage mitigation tool, but this advantage is only preserved if the use is exclusive. On the other hand, if the e-cigarette is only used to circumvent the bans and its use is contemporary and ‘dual’ to that of traditional cigarettes, the benefits will be lost,” warns Fabio Beatrice, director of the scientific council of mohre.
Beatrice’s warning is accompanied by Patrizia Noussan, chief of cardiology at San Giovanni Bosco Hospital in Turin and member of the Observatory’s board of directors: “A recent study published in ‘Circulation,’ a journal of the American Heart Association – highlights – concluded that there are no significant differences due to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes compared to non-smokers, while dual use reports the risk of those smoking only burnt tobacco.Conclusion emerged from the analysis of the data from the Path- cohort study that included 24,027 cases over the age of 18. Switching to electronics in particular was associated with a 30-40% lower risk of cardiovascular events.
Giacomo Mangiaracina, president of the National Agency for Prevention and member of the Mohre, also joins the debate: “We must not forget the children who start,” he notes. “Hiding initiation could be easier than curing an addiction. Anti-smoking actions are key to understanding whether a state can protect the very youngest. Australia and New Zealand have been teaching us for years how to invest energy and strategies to eradicate tobacco use. Of them – he concludes – a pack of cigarettes costs more than 18 dollars”.
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