A study to assess smoking habits and smoking exposure in sportspeople

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O'Sullivan, Bryan
Scully, P.
Curtin, R. J.
Plant, Barry J.
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Oxford University Press
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Background: Tobacco smoking is a leading public health concern and is the most preventable cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Sportspeople are no exception and those who smoke are predisposed to the same hazardous health effects as the general public, in addition to the potential effects it may have on their sporting performance. Aim: We aimed to ascertain the prevalence of tobacco consumption in a sporting population. We also endeavoured to quantify the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and assess exposure to passive smoking. Design: Observational study. Methods: A web-based e-questionnaire was distributed to participants from various sports across Ireland between November 2017 and January 2018, and data were analysed using SPSS. Results: A total of 546 sportspeople completed the survey with more than twice as many male respondents. Of whom, 16% of participants were current smokers, with males significantly more likely to smoke (P < 0.001), 26% of rugby players were current smokers which was significantly higher when compared with other sports (P < 0.01), 10% of all participants were exposed to second-hand smoke for more than 1 h per day and 2% of all participants were current users of e-cigarettes. Conclusion: The prevalence of smoking in our study population was higher than other literature reports. Further studies are essential to evaluate the potential negative effects this may be having on sporting performance, career progression and indeed injury occurrence/rehabilitation. It is imperative to address the matter of smoking in athletes, not only for public health concerns but also considering they are important role models in our society.
Smoking , Passive smoking , Habits , Internet , Ireland , Smoke , Sports , Morbidity , Mortality , Public health Medicine , Rehabilitation , Tobacco use , Athlete , Electronic cigarettes , Rugby , Smokers , Tobacco
O'Sullivan, B., Scully, P., Curtin, R. J. and Plant, B. J. (2020) 'A study to assess smoking habits and smoking exposure in sportspeople', QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 114(5), pp. 306-310. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcaa189
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