The ICA Information Center staff issues reports on the latest research studies presenting new findings on the harmful effects of smoking:
Are smokers at a higher risk of developing leukemia and does the risk decrease due to smoking cessation?
Investigators from the University of Minnesota in the United States have examined the link between cigarette smoking and the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia - AML - and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia - CML. Similarly, the investigators examined the link between smoking cessation and the risk of developing these diseases.
Research studies in the past have already indicated a link between cigarette smoking and the risk of developing myeloid leukemia, particularly AML, among men and women, but little is known of the link between smoking cessation and the risk of developing the disease.
414 AML patients, 185 CML patients, and the control group comprised of 692 healthy subjects took part in the research study. In all three groups, participants were in the 20-79 age group, including smokers, non-smokers or ex-smokers. The smokers and ex-smokers were asked about their smoking habits.
The intensity of smoking history is measured in "pack-years": the pack-year is measured by the number of packs of cigarettes per day multiplied by the total tobacco smoking duration in years. Such that, for instance, one pack-year would be smoking one pack per day for a year, or smoking two packs per day for half a year.
The research findings showed that the more the person smokes, the greater the risk of developing AML. The risk level remains high and constant when the total tobacco smoking duration reaches 30 pack-years, whereas among smokers who have quit the habit, the risk of developing this disease diminishes with the number of years since smoking cessation occurred.
Conversely, it emerged that the risk of developing CML consistently increases the more the person smokes, and diminishes only 30 years after smoking cessation. Furthermore, based on the research study, it emerges that among those who quit smoking 30 plus years ago, the risk of developing CML and AML is identical to that of individuals who have never smoked.
In short, the investigators conclude that smoking increases the risk of developing CML and AML among men and women alike, and smoking cessation reduces the risk of developing the disease.
The research study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, May 2013 issue.
Do women who smoke during pregnancy put their daughters at greater risk of gestational diabetes and obesity later in life?
Many studies indicate that newborns exposed to smoking suffer short-term effects that include fetal growth restriction, shortened gestational length and an increased risk of perinatal mortality, as opposed to non-exposed babies. Up until recently, reports on possible long-term adverse effects have been scarce and results have been inconsistent.
A research study conducted recently at Lund University in Sweden, which monitored 80,189 pregnancies, investigated the risk of developing gestational diabetes and obesity in women who were exposed to tobacco smoke in utero.
Data were retrieved from the medical birth register of women who were born in 1982 or later, when smoking data were first registered, and who had given birth to at least one child. These women, those in first generation (G1) and their daughters, in second generation (G2), were interviewed about their smoking habits upon their first visit to the maternity clinic. The health condition of the women in G2 was documented in their medical records.
The research results indicated an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes among the women in G2, whose mothers smoked [while pregnant]. The risk of developing the disease was observed both among those who were moderately exposed and those who were heavily exposed in utero to maternal smoking. Moderate exposure was defined as 1-9 cigarettes per day, and heavy exposure was defined as >9 cigarettes per day.
The investigators also found a direct link between the mothers' smoking and the obesity of their offspring, which was measured according to the daughters' Body Mass Index, BMI. A higher risk emerged among daughters of heavy smokers, as opposed to those of moderate smokers.
In conclusion, this research study showed that women exposed to smoking during fetal life are at higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and obesity in adulthood.
This research study was published in the journal Diabetologia, May 2013 issue.
The ICA holds diverse activities marking World No Tobacco Day, such as:
The Annual School Competition on Tobacco Prevention, in memory of the late Dr. Marcus, held on Wednesday 29 May 2013 at Beit Mat, ICA Headquarters in Givatayim.
This competition featured projects related to the war on smoking which reached the finals. This competition is held in collaboration with Shefi - the Psychology and Counseling Unit of the Ministry of Education - and the League against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, and constitutes a part of the ICA's broad-based year-round activity in schools throughout Israel.
Lectures on this subject are delivered by professional instructors who work with students and help them become opinion leaders, to introduce change within their immediate environment, and motivate friends and family to avoid smoking.
Lectures on tobacco use prevention and cessation were delivered at workplaces and public institutions as well.
During this awareness week, ICA will step up its public information campaign through the various media channels, while placing an emphasis on the harmful effects of smoking - active and passive smoking alike.
The ICA launched an advertising campaign placing an emphasis on the harmful effects of smoking among pregnant women.
This campaign warns against the implications of smoking during pregnancy, and the harm incurred to the smoker, the fetus and the newborn.
This public information ad, presented at the "Golden Fish" Advertising Competition 2012, was produced upon the initiative of the ICA and in collaboration with the BBDO Gitam Advertising Agency.