Published: Wednesday 30 June 1999

Millions of dollars are being spent annually to treat patients with two diseases caused mainly by cigarette smoking, according to a new study by Thailand's Chiang Mai University scholar Chaiananthorn Patumanond. The conclussions are based on a study of about 2,000 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( copd ) and cardiovascular heart disease ( chd ) in five hospitals. Comparisons with patients suffering from other minor illnesses showed that copd reduced a person's quality of life by 67 per cent and chd by 63 per cent. Chaiananthorn said 77 per cent of copd cases could be attributed to cigarette smoking.

The World Health Organisation ( who ) has urged doctors and nurses to be more active in encouraging patients to realise the dangers of cigarette smoking and to help them quit the habit. who representative to Thailand, Brian Doberstyn, said health care providers could play a crucial role in helping patients stop smoking.

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