Smoking and Arrhythmia

Since 1977, the third week in January has been designated as National Non-Smoking Week in Canada. We all know the risks associated with tobacco use, but do you know the links to arrhythmia in particular?

Dr. Roopinder Sandhu, a CANet Network Investigator, released the results of a study called “Smoking, Smoking Cessation and Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in Women” in 2012, in which she and her team found that, compared to non-smokers, female smokers were 2.46 times more likely to experience sudden cardiac death (SCD), and the risk of SCD increased by 8% for every 5 years of continued smoking.

(Arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation cause most sudden cardiac deaths.)

The study concluded that efforts to prevent SCD among women should include aggressive strategies for smoking cessation.

This weekend, such strategies will be discussed at the 9th Annual Ottawa Conference: State of the Art Clinical Approaches to Smoking Cessation, hosted by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (a CANet partner). At the conference, healthcare practitioners, researchers and policy-makers will come together to hear the latest in clinical tobacco treatment, program development, and smoking cessation research, from national and international experts.

The good news? Help is available to anyone who is ready to quit. In her message on National Non-Smoking Week, Health Minister Jane Philpott reminded us that the Government of Canada offers online information on quitting smoking. The Minister will also be hosting a national forum in early 2017 to hear from Canadians as the government develops a new and innovative Federal Tobacco Control Strategy.

Did you quit smoking when you were diagnosed with arrhythmia? Tell us your story!

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