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Free Content Associations between tobacco and tuberculosis [Educational Series: tobacco and tuberculosis. Serialised guide. Tobacco cessation interventions for tuberculosis patients. Number 1 in the series]

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The association between smoking and tuberculosis (TB) has been investigated since 1918. Both passive and active exposure to tobacco smoke have been shown to be associated with tuberculous infection and with the transition from being infected to developing TB disease. The association between smoking and developing TB disease (without separating the risk of transition from being exposed to being infected and that from being infected to developing TB disease) has been reported substantially. Smoking affects the clinical manifestations of TB. It has been shown that ever smokers are more likely to have cough, dyspnoea, chest radiograph appearances of upper zone involvement, cavity and miliary appearance, and positive sputum culture, but are less likely to have isolated extra-pulmonary involvement than non-smokers. Smoking has been found to be associated with both relapse of TB and TB mortality. There appears to be enough evidence to conclude that smoking is causally associated with TB disease. Patients with TB need and should receive counselling and assistance in stopping smoking.

Keywords: passive smoking; smoking; tobacco; tuberculosis

Document Type: Invited Paper

Affiliations: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France

Publication date: March 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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