Cardiovascular disease and the global tobacco epidemic: a wake-up call for cardiologists

Int J Cardiol. 2002 Dec;86(2-3):185-92. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5273(02)00277-2.


The global tobacco epidemic continues unabated with the recruitment of young people, including women, to join the ranks of smokers. Even though cardiovascular diseases account for some of the major tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, cardiologists and their professional societies have lagged behind in the crusade against tobacco. A great opportunity exists for more involvement and leadership role by cardiologists, especially in countries where tobacco control efforts are not well established. For this to happen, there is a need to identify barriers to cardiologists' involvement in tobacco prevention and cessation efforts and to devise locally-relevant strategies to address them. Also, the areas where the contribution of cardiologists can be most fruitful must be identified. Considering that a substantial portion of the future burden of cardiovascular disease will occur among current tobacco users, treating tobacco dependence and supporting tobacco quitters are the most urgent tasks for cardiologists interested in reducing the human toll of tobacco. The cardiovascular community must consider the variety of needs and available resources to fight tobacco in different regions. Recommendations to involve more cardiologists in tobacco control, at the clinical, public health and policy levels, are presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physician's Role*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / complications*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control*