World Heart Federation


WHEN POLICY IS THE BEST MEDICINE: SMOKE-FREE POLICY AND HEART HEALTH

Smoke-free policy is one of the most cost-effective measures for improving heart health and is crucial to stemming the cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemic in low- and middle-income countries. Gathering many of the world’s top experts in tobacco control, the World Heart Federation drove this message home at the 2010 World Congress of Cardiology in Beijing. The Global Smokefree Partnership project entitled Warning: Secondhand Smoke is Hazardous to Your Heart, produced materials that served as the cornerstone of a comprehensive strategy to communicate the effects of secondhand smoke on heart health.

Smoke-free policy: a core priority for improving heart health

"The World Heart Federation is mobilizing cardiologists and heart networks to take a strong stand about tobacco use and exposure - both with patients and policymakers", explained Dr Sidney C Smith, Junior, President Elect of the World Heart Federation. "Supporting effective tobacco control is a core part of our organizational strategy and it will be one of the priorities of my Presidency."

Tools to support smoke-free policy

China, home to a third of the world’s smokers and the world’s top tobacco producer, is a top priority for global tobacco control. The World Congress of Cardiology in Beijing presented a unique opportunity to throw the support of cardiologists behind smokefree policy.  Working closely with the World Heart Federation, the Global Smokefree Partnership brought together the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Roswell Park Cancer Center and the World Lung Foundation to develop materials to help cardiologists communicate the evidence regarding secondhand smoke and the heart. These materials, which included an information leaflet, a film, and a collection of other resources, were launched at the congress and promoted extensively.     

Cardiologists taking action

The film features cardiologists, policymakers and other experts from around the world who have taken a strong stand on smoke-free policy. Antonella Cardone, Acting Director of the Global Smokefree Partnership, explained: "We hope congress participants will take our materials home and use them to help communicate with patients, policymakers, trainees, and other health professionals about the importance of avoiding and reducing secondhand smoke exposure."  Dr Hu Dayi, President of the Chinese Cardiology Society, plans to do just that: "I will make sure that whenever I am asked to speak at a meeting, the film will be shown."

Read the full resource Warning: Secondhand Smoke is Hazardous to your Heart >
 
Order hard copies of the paper and/or CD ROM with paper and film >

To link with the network of heart health specialists who promote tobacco control, please contact Alice Grainger Gasser.