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Cigarette use among Greek athletes

Authors:

Sofia Spanoudaki ,

Division of Sports Medicine and Biology of Exercise, Laboratory of Functional Anatomy, TEFAA University of Athens (University of Sports Science), 1-5 Iokastis Steet, Byron, 16231 Athens, GR
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Pavlos Myrianthefs,

Athens University School of Nursing ICU, Antismoking Outpatient Clinic at KAT Hospital, 14561 Athens, GR
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Panagiotis Baltopoulos,

Division of Sports Medicine and Biology of Exercise, Laboratory of Functional Anatomy, TEFAA University of Athens (University of Sports Science), 1-5 Iokastis Steet, Byron, 16231 Athens, GR
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Maria Maridaki,

Laboratory of Exercise Physiology, TEFAA University of Athens, Ethnikis Antistasis 41, Dafni 17237, GR
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Jerome Talmud,

Centre Medicale Cardio-Respiratoire, 64250 Cambo – Les – Bains, FR
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George Baltopoulos

Athens University School of Nursing ICU, Antismoking Outpatient Clinic at KAT Hospital, 14561 Athens, GR
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Abstract

Background: Cigarette smoking is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. Exercise improves cardiovascular and pulmonary function and also may play an important role in encouraging people to give up smoking, when appropriate sporting activity is introduced. We investigated smoking habits among Greek students participating in sporting activities.

Methods: We interviewed 1003 volunteers with a mean age of 17.9±0.2 years. They included 617 (61.5%) men and 386 (38.5%) women, participating in 30 different sporting activities. A specific questionnaire was used.

Results: Of the 1003 volunteers, 104 (10.4%) were current smokers who started smoking at the age of 17.3±0.2 years and smoked 13.6±0.7 cigarettes per day. Among males 9.1% and among females 12.4% were current smokers. Two-thirds (66.4%) of the smokers preferred Marlboro (45.2%) and Camel (21.2%) brands, respectively. Among males, volleyball, kickboxing, track & field and handball and among females, volleyball, dance, gymnastics, and basketball were associated with higher rates of smoking. Students involved in national and international competitions had significantly lower smoking rates.

Conclusions: Exercise may be related to a significantly lower prevalence of smoking among students. Smoking cessation programs should encourage sporting activity. Participation at high levels of competition may be significant in preventing the habit of smoking.

How to Cite: Spanoudaki S, Myrianthefs P, Baltopoulos P, Maridaki M, Talmud J, Baltopoulos G. Cigarette use among Greek athletes. Global Heart. 2005;1(3):229–36. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.precon.2005.09.002
Published on 01 Sep 2005.

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