Posted by: audreybenenati | November 25, 2009

What You Need to Know About Smoking and Pandemic H1N1 Influenza

Persons that Smoke are More Likely to Suffer from the flu than Nonsmokers

• Research shows that smokers are at an increased risk of contracting influenza than non-smokers.

• Influenza cases are often more severe in smokers, and there is a higher mortality (death) rate for smokers than nonsmokers from influenza.

• Smoking is causally related to chronic coughing and wheezing, bronchitis and emphysema in adults.

• Smokers contract upper and lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia more frequently than nonsmokers.

• Inhaling secondhand smoke also makes lungs more susceptible to respiratory infections and illness.

• Children and infants exposed to secondhand smoke in the home have dramatically higher levels of respiratory symptoms, respiratory tract infections, and slower lung development.

Smoking Identified as a Risk Factor for Influenza Over 25 Years Ago

• An outbreak of influenza was studied in an Israeli military unit of 336 healthy young men in 1982 to determine the relation of cigarette smoking to the incidence of influenza. Half the men were smokers.

• 68.5% of smokers had influenza, as compared with 47% of nonsmokers. Influenza was also more severe in the smokers; 51% of the smokers lost work days or required bed rest, or both, as compared with 30% of the nonsmokers.

• A quarter of all severe illness from influenza in the overall study population was attributable to smoking.

• Researchers concluded that smoking is a major determinant of disease in epidemic influenza and may contribute substantially to incapacitation in outbreaks in populations that smoke heavily.

(Source:  Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation)


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