Carries Same Heart Risks as Everyday Habit.


Social smokers' risk for high blood pressure and high cholesterol is identical to those who light up every day, research at Ohio State University, Columbus, has found.

More than 10% of people surveyed indicate they are social smokers, meaning they do not smoke every day. That is on top of the 17% who call themselves current smokers. Among current and social smokers, about 75% had high blood pressure and roughly 54% had high cholesterol.

"Not smoking at all is the best way to go. Even smoking in a social situation is detrimental to your cardiovascular health," says lead author Kate Gawlik, assistant professor of clinical nursing. "One in 10 people in this study said they sometimes smoke, and many of them are young and already on the path to heart disease."

Smoking is a risk factor for unhealthy blood pressure and cholesterol, and both are significant contributors to cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men and women worldwide.

"These are striking findings and they have such significance for clinical practice and for population health," says study senior author Bernadette Melnyk, dean of the College of...

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