BACKGROUND--Previous studies investigating the effect of cigar or pipe smoking on the occurrence of chronic cough and chronic phlegm have reported prevalences among cigar and pipe smokers lying between those of non-smokers and current cigarette smokers. This study uses data on previous cigarette consumption, current cigar or pipe consumption, and biochemical markers of smoking to provide a detailed analysis of chronic cough and chronic phlegm among cigar and pipe smokers. METHODS--A total of 10,359 men and women aged 40-59 years were sampled for the Scottish Heart Health Study between 1984 and 1986. Prevalence of chronic cough and chronic phlegm among male cigar and pipe smokers (non-cigarette smokers) was compared with those who had never smoked, between ex-smokers of cigarettes and those who had never smoked cigarettes, between cigar-only and pipe-only smokers, and by cigar or pipe consumption levels. RESULTS--In all, 463 ex-smokers of cigarettes and 154 who had never smoked cigarettes were cigar or pipe smokers; 1080 had never smoked any form of tobacco. Ex-cigarette smokers smoked and inhaled more than those who had never smoked cigarettes. Among the ex-cigarette smokers, cigar or pipe smokers had 1.63-1.71 times the prevalence of both chronic cough and chronic phlegm than those who had never smoked (1.31-1.36 among cigar only smokers; 2.23-2.84 among pipe only smokers). A strong positive dose-response effect was found between the prevalence of symptoms and cigar or pipe consumption. CONCLUSIONS--Cigar and pipe smokers have a higher prevalence of chronic cough and phlegm than those who have never smoked, and the difference is more marked in pipe-only smokers than in cigar-only smokers. Both categories show a positive dose-response effect. Among cigar and pipe smokers, ex-cigarette smokers have a higher prevalence of symptoms than those who have never smoked cigarettes, which may be because they inhale more or may be attributable to previous cigarette smoking.
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