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Original scientific paper

Tobacco smoking as a cause of chronic nonspecific lung disease

M. Mimica ; Institut za medicinska istraživanja i medicinu rada, Zagreb, Hrvatska
M. Šarić ; Institut za medicinska istraživanja i medicinu rada, Zagreb, Hrvatska
M. Malinar ; Institut za medicinska istraživanja i medicinu rada, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Full text: croatian pdf 12.341 Kb

page 289-304

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The relationship between cigarette smoking and respiratory symptoms and ventilatory impairments was studied in a sample of 1575 men and 1690 women aged 38-57 years. Among men there were 490 nonsmokers, 263 past smokers and 822 smokers, and among women 1386 nonsmokers, 54 past smokers and 250 smokers. The smokers were grouped according to the number of cigarettes they smoked daily: 1-10 cigarettes, 11-20 cigarettes, 21-30 cigarettes and more than 30 cigarettes. Chronic expectoration was four times more frequent in the smokers who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily than in nonsmokers, but the symptoms of dyspnea during exertion and asthma were twice as frequent as in nonsmokers. Bronchial rales and prolonged expiration determined by auscultation were two to four times more frequent in heavy smokers than in nonsmokers. Mostly, the mean FEV1 and FVC values were the lower the more cigarettes the smokers smoked daily, but even in the heaviest smokers they were usually only about 5-10 per cent lower than in nonsmokers. The FEV1 values lower than 80 per cent of the normal and FEV1/FVC values lower than 60 per cent were still about twice as frequent in heavy smokers as in nonsmokers, The impairment of respiratory functions over a three-year period was usually the greater the more cigarettes the smokers smoked. In the heavest smoker it was about 1.6 times greater than in nonsmokers. It is concluded that long-term smoking, doubtlessly, although not dramatically, contributes to the impairment of respiratory organs in most smokers. The impairment is the more severe the greater the number of cigarettes smoked daily. The assumption that in some people smoking to a small extent may be a useful stimulus to the development of respiratory functions, can not be ruled out because best respiratory functions, for instance, were found in women who stopped smoking. The smokers who claimed to inhale deeply the tobacco smoke complained of cough more often than those who did not inhale. Unexpected, however, was the finding that men who claimed to inhale had better FEV1 and FVC values than those who did not. The mean values of the tested ventilatory functions were slightly lower in smokers who smoked low quality cigarettes, but in these smokers a possibility of interaction of other factors cannot be excluded.


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