Monday, July 21, 2014

Million Hearts Colorado: Quitting Smokeless Tobacco After Heart Attack May Extend Life Expectancy

People who stop using smokeless tobacco after a heart attack may extend their life expectancy similar to people who stop smoking, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
The study found that quitting smokeless tobacco after a heart attack extends life expectancy similar to quitting smoking and that study participants who stopped using the Swedish form of snuff after a heart attack reduced their risk of dying by nearly 50 percent.
This may be the first study to examine the impact of smokeless tobacco on death in heart attack survivors.
Researchers analyzed the effect of quitting the use of snus, a moist Swedish smokeless powder tobacco kept under the upper lip. It’s a variant of snuff, but doesn’t need to be spit out.
After considering factors like age, gender,  other tobacco use, occupation and participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program, researchers said those who stopped using snus had nearly half the mortality risk, similar to the benefit observed with smoking cessation.
Although the study focused on snus, Arefalk said nicotine levels are comparable to levels in snuff.
Snuff use is increasing worldwide. In the largest market, the United States, about 1.7 billion cans are consumed each year. 
For more information on the effects of smokeless tobacco on cardiovascular health, read the American Heart Association's statement here
The American Heart Association participates in Colorado's Million Hearts Initiative, an effort to prevent heart attacks and strokes the state by 2017. You can participate too. Be one in a million - make your commitment and pledge today.

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