Stopping smoking is hard despite success of smoke-free legislation

April 20, 2012

The successful implementation of smokefree legislation in Hong Kong has led to an overall decrease in the total number of smokers but the remaining smokers who are finding it difficult to quit are going on to become "hardcore" smokers, according to a new study from Hong Kong presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology.

Hardcore smokers are defined as those smokers that (1) are daily smokers, (2) have a history of at least six years, (3) have never tried to quit, (4) don't want to quit smoking, (5) smoke at least 11 , on average, each day and (6) are 26 years or older.

The study found that the number of remaining smokers in Hong Kong who went on to become hardcore smokers grew from 23.8 per cent (2005) to 29.4 per cent (2008) of the male smoking population and from 10.6 per cent (2005) to 16.3 per cent (2008) of women who smoke.

"The increase in hardcore smokers is a worrying trend," said, Dr. Doris Leung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. "Smokefree legislation has gone a long way in reducing the overall number of smokers in Hong Kong but what we now need is to look more closely at how we can help those remaining individuals with serious tobacco habits to stop smoking."

Tobacco use and cardiovascular disease

Smoking is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and directly responsible for one-tenth of all CVD worldwide. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a as people who have never smoked. Moreover, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for 600,000 deaths every year.

A person can substantially lower their CVD risk by stopping smoking. The risk of is cut by half one year after quitting and is nearly the same as someone who never smoked 15 years after quitting. While stroke risk is reduced to that of a person who never smoked after five to 15 years of not smoking.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

July 21, 2017
University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects.

Findings link aldosterone with alcohol use disorder

July 18, 2017
A new study led by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, demonstrates that aldosterone, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, may contribute ...

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18

July 17, 2017
A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.

Why does prenatal alcohol exposure increase the likelihood of addiction?

July 7, 2017
One of the many negative consequences when fetuses are exposed to alcohol in the womb is an increased risk for drug addiction later in life. Neuroscientists in the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions are ...

Researchers say U.S. policies on drugs and addiction could use a dose of neuroscience

June 23, 2017
Tens of thousands of Americans die from drug overdoses every year – around 50,000 in 2015 – and the number has been steadily climbing for at least the last decade and a half, according to the National Institute on Drug ...

Study provides further support for genetic factors underlying addictions

June 13, 2017
Impairment of a particular gene raises increases susceptibility to opioid addiction liability as well as vulnerability to binge eating according to a new study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.