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Quitting smoking success - A Farmer study

Quitting smoking success - A Farmer study

Farmers have been identified as a high-risk group for cancer mortality compared to other occupational groups. Cancers of the lungs and respiratory tract are major killers and are particularly associated with smoking tobacco. John McNamara, Teagasc Health & Safety Specialist informs us of more here

The dangers of smoking

In addition to lung cancer, smoking is associated with of cancers of the nose, sinuses, voice box and throat with high fatality risk.

Smoking tobacco is also recognised as causing an array of respiratory illnesses including both chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  Smoking amplifies the risks from farm respiratory risks such as dusts and spores.

Smoking is addictive and thus it is hard to quit smoking. ‘Younger’ farmers (<45 years) are three times more likely to smoke than farmer above this age.

Heart Health Study

Smoking cessation was included in the recent Farmers Have Hearts Cardiovascular Health study. Smokers who expressed a desire to stop smoking were referred to a free of charge national smoking cessation programme (the HSE Quit programme – www.Quit.ie ) for tailored and specialised support.  

At baseline  9.1% of participants reported as smokers. After the 1-year intervention, the percentage smoking dropped to 6.9%, giving a significant 24% reduction in smoking prevalence. This is a positive study finding, however, the aim should be to achieve zero smoking based on the serious health risks involved. 

Quitting smoking partially reverses the associated respiratory risks.

Types of cancer among farmers

Cancer among farmers is also associated with sunlight exposure and weight, diet and exercise. Farm chemicals should be used in accordance with manufacturers Safety Data Sheets.  Hygiene practices need to be followed, as materials such as ‘burnt oil’ are carcinogenic. Seeking medical attention at an early stage is crucial to reduce the consequences of cancer. 

By following prevention strategies, a considerable number of cancer incidences are preventable.

Further Information

Consult the ‘Farm Health and Wellbeing’ Booklet  - A H.S.A. and Farm Safety Partnership Booklet 

See also the Farmers Have Hearts’ Cardiovascular (CVD) Health Programme (FHH-CHP) study

#FarmSafetyWeek runs from July 18th - 22nd. Check out Teagasc Daily all this week for further updates

Learn more about Farm Health & Safety from Teagasc