Occasional Smokers Also Have an Increased Risk of Stroke

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A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Helsinki examines the impact of smoking cigarettes on the body and concludes that occasional smoking or smoking once in a while can also damage the lungs and elevate the chances of health conditions which are associated with the practice such as the risk of stroke.

More specifically, the scientists were interested in studying the link between a particular type of stroke known as subarachnoid hemorrhage or SAH. In the majority of the cases, SAH is dangerous and results in the death of the affected person.

Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a commonly diagnosed condition in people who are heavy smokers and usually have other risk factors for stroke as well. However, many people believe that the risk of SAH or other known health issues is only high for those who smoke frequently, and smoking occasionally is not harmful.

The existent medical literature has already established that smoking, regardless of whether it done once in a while or every single day, is inherently harmful. In fact, some studies have also shown that the effects of smoking cannot be reversed in many cases, even years after a person has quit the practice.

Overall, the mortality rate for people who do not smoke frequently is higher in comparison with those who do not smoke at all. A report from the National Cancer Institute which was released back in the year 2016 showed that occasional smokers still have a sixty-four percent higher risk of early-age mortality than people who do not smoke at all.

Although the chances of developing certain conditions and higher mortality of heavy smokers are still higher, it should be noted that the risk is still there for light smokers as well even if it may not be as high.

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Some health experts have explained that even though many people believe their occasional smoking does not harm, the damage from each time they smoke can add up and lead to similar outcomes that heavy smokers usually have to experience.

The recent study, whose findings appear in the American Heart Association’s Stroke: A Journal of Cerebral Circulation,¬†adds further to the medical literature present on the impact of occasional smoking on the health while concentrating on the risk of stroke.

According to the findings of the study, people who smoke frequently and those who smoke once in a while are both at risk of experiencing subarachnoid hemorrhage. The researchers reached this conclusion after assessing data of over sixteen thousand participants in a cohort.

In the sixteen thousand participants, it was only the nonsmokers who had the lowest chances of having SAH or other related conditions.

However, health experts state that occasional smokers still have one advantage over heavy smokers which is finding it easier to quit. Although light smoking may have already caused some form of damage to the lungs and the body, doctors suggest leaving the habit whenever a person can.

This can prevent any further harmful effects on the body. For light smokers, it can also be done in a short span of time comparatively.

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