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Cigarette and hookah smoking – A risk factor for morbidity in young adults

Cigarette and hookah smoking were found, for the first time, as risk factor of high utilization of health care services among IDF soldiers, according to an article published this month inNicotine and Tobacco Research. The study was recently presented in the annual conference of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research by the principal investigator Dr. Hagai Levine of theHadassah-Hebrew University School of Public Health, conducted in collaboration with other researchers from the IDF Medical Corps. Among cigarette smokers, men and women, higher utilization of a variety of health care services was found, such as visits to primary care clinic, medication use, emergency room visits and hospitalizations. In addition, smokers needed ~33% more sick leave days than non-smokers. Among non-smoking males, hookah use was found to be a risk factor for high utilization of health care services. The findings highlight the potential effect of cigarette smoking as a risk factor for increased morbidity among apparently healthy young adults. These finding support adding smoking status to fitness assessments and intensifying smoking prevention and cessation efforts aimed at young adults. Such novel intervention is smoking cessation using mobile phone technology. Development and evaluation of such program for the Israeli smoker are currently promoted by Dr. Levine and his colleagues from Israel and abroad. The Hebrew University is conducting various activities for smoking prevention as Health promoting and sustainable setting. Over the last months a setting of ""Smoke free campus"" is promoted in the Ein Kerem Faculty of Medicine and Hadassah Medical Center.