MethodLogical has long been a proponent of the anti-smoking movement (as evidenced by this piece I wrote a while back)- a gutsy stance, I know. Now, the British Medical Journal is outlining yet another risk of smoking.
According to a mathematical model published in the BMJ, failure to curb smoking rates could lead to a substantial rise in tuberculosis cases, as smoking appears to double a person’s chance of developing active TB and dying from it.
Because of heavy regulation on the tobacco industry in the states, tobacco companies have focused more energy on the developing world. Unlike the U.S., many of these countries have high rates of TB. Many of these areas also have high prevalences of HIV (increasing the risk of developing TB) as well as significant issues with air pollution (researchers have speculated that both indoor and outdoor air pollution increase the risk of TB), creating a perfect storm-like assault on people’s lungs.
Public smoking bans are increasing in number worldwide, but now comes the hard part: enforcement.