The risk of smokers developing active tuberculosis
- Compared to non-smokers, people who smoke have approximately twice the risk of both Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and active tuberculosis.
- Cigarettes are one of the biggest contributors to TB patients defaulting on their treatment, resulting in other family members also contracting TB.
- The risk of a poor tuberculosis treatment outcome is 70% greater in current smokers compared to never smokers. This is similarly true for patients who have recently stopped smoking. They have a lower risk of a poor tuberculosis outcome than current smokers.
- Studies have shown that smoking is associated with an increased risk of tuberculosis mortality and relapse after treatment completion.
- Smokers have a threefold greater risk of recurrent tuberculosis than non-smokers.
How does smoking cause and worsen tuberculosis?
- Smoking can weaken defences and increase the risk of tuberculosis infection.
- Smoking can have an irreversible inhibitory effect on the enzyme required by lung tissue to hinder the duplication of tuberculosis.
- Smoking can decrease the ability of white blood cells to effectively launch a pulmonary immune defence.
If you are ready to quit smoking, we’re eager to help you on your journey.
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