Poor bone health has a devastating impact in the UK in terms of disease morbidity and mortality, as well as financial and social costs.
Smoking is a risk factor for poor bone health as it affects the metabolism of hormones, body weight, vitamin D levels, calcium absorption, and blood circulation. It also increases oxidative stress, thus disrupting healthy bone resorption and formation, leading to osteoporosis.
Consequently, smokers have a 25% increase in fracture risk and are nearly twice as likely to experience hip fractures. Smoking also delays bone healing following operations to repair fractures.
However, stopping smoking has been shown to partially reverse the risk of suffering fractures, and smoking cessation is recommended for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.