Many Heart Patients Don't Quit Smoking

Posted on October 5, 2005

A study has found that many heart patients that are smokers do not quit smoking after their illness. The BBC says the study was conducted on 5,500 patients in 15 countries. Of these heart patients 2,244 were smokers and 48% did not quit smoking when advised to. The BBC article says some experts wonder if the patients are really aware of the risk from smoking.

Dr Wilma Scholte op Reimer, of the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who led the study, said it was "unbelievable" so many carried on smoking after a life-threatening event for which the habit is a major risk factor.

"It makes me wonder if they are truly aware of the risk that they are taking," she said.

Dr Scholte op Reimer said there may be a difference between patients having the general knowledge that smoking is a bad habit, and understanding the risk they themselves faced.

She said it was important smokers had access to support from stopping-smoking programmes, and access to nicotine replacement therapies, if necessary.

Some of it could but unawareness on the patient's part but it also likely that the doctors are underestimating just how difficult it is for people to quit smoking. And those who have seen movies like The Insider know why smoking is so difficult to quit.

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