In the last 10 years, at least 880 thousand people have died from cigarette smoking in Italy alone and about 7 million in Europe: avoidable deaths. 10 years after the publication of the best seller ‘101 reasons for not smoking’ (Guerini editore), the authors and members of the Scientific Board of Mohre, Mediterranean Observatory for Harm Reduction in Medicine, take stock of the new discoveries starting from the analysis of the context: “Something has changed in the last 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 it is mainly men who get sick, it is women who risk their lives the most because in women the diagnosis is too often late “. And “the increase in cases among women is largely explained by the growing number of smokers”. The Airtum (Italian Association of Cancer Registries) estimates speak 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 frequent form of cancer in Italy, with about 27,100 new cases diagnosed in 2018 in our country: 21,500 among men and 5,600 among 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 in doing so we risk losing the benefit of new and targeted therapies in terms of healing and survival. “First, the pandemic has led to an increase in the number of smokers, almost a millions more from the ISS data of 2021. But unlike 10 years ago we have a huge amount of data regarding the safety of the electronic cigarette and its potential as a tool for harm reduction, but this advantage is maintained only if the use it is exclusive. Instead, if the e-cig is used only to circumvent the prohibitions and its use is contemporary and ‘dual’ to that of traditional cigarettes, the benefits are nullified “, warns Fabio Beatrice, director of the Mohre scientific board. warning from Beatrice joins Patrizia Noussan, head of cardiology at the San Giovanni Bosco hospital in Turin and member of the board of the Observatory: “A recent study published in ‘Circulation’, revis ta of the American Heart Association – he highlights – concluded that there are no significant differences due to the exclusive use of electronic cigarettes compared to non-smokers, while dual use brings back the risk of those who smoke only burnt tobacco. Conclusion emerged from the analysis of the data of the Path cohort study which involved 24,027 cases over 18 years old. In particular, the switch to electronics 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 spoke in the debate: ” kids starting out, “he notes. “Obstructing initiation could be easier than curing an addiction. Anti-smoking actions are the key to understanding whether a state can protect the very young. Australia and New Zealand have been teaching us for some years how to can invest energy and strategies to eradicate tobacco consumption. From them – he concludes – a pack of cigarettes costs more than 18 dollars “.
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