1 Introduction: Debate Concerning the Effects of Smoking on Health.- 2 Does Quitting Smoking Save Lives?.- 3 How Strong is the Association Between Smoking and Disease?.- 4 The Methodology of Epidemiological Studies of Smoking.- 5 The Causes of Smoking: Needs or Addiction?.- 6 Personality and Stress as Risk Factors.- 7 Intervention Studies in Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease.- 8 Summary and Conclusions.- 9 Epilogue.- References.- Appendix: Short Disease-Proneness Inventory.- Author Index.
It is often suggested that the incidence of cancer and coronary heart disease could be much reduced or even eliminated if only people would stop smoking cigarettes and eat fewer high-cholesterol foods. The evidence, however, shows that such views are simplistic and unrealistic and that, instead, cancer and CHD are the product of many risk factors acting synergistically. Psychosocial factors (stress, personality) are six times as predictive as smoking, cholesterol level or blood pressure and much more responsive to prophylactic treatment. This book admits that, while smoking is a risk factor for cancer and CHD, its effects have been exaggerated. A more realistic appraisal of a very complex chain of events incorporating many diverse factors is given, and appropriate action to prevent cancer and coronary heart disease is discussed.
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