The fundamental importance of smoking cessation in those with premature ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction

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Purpose of review

Smoking is the most prevalent risk factor among young patients suffering acute myocardial infarction (AMI). In this review, we will present data on the detrimental consequences of continued smoking with regard to the recurrence of coronary events after an AMI at an early age.

Recent findings

A prospective study with long-term follow-up of young survivors of AMI showed that continuation of smoking after a first episode of AMI was the strongest independent predictor of further cardiac events. In particular, persistent smokers had ∼2.5 times higher risk of a new coronary event when compared with nonsmokers. This emphasizes the fundamental importance of initiating smoking cessation treatment in all smokers with AMI during hospitalization. Extrapolating the results of previous studies showing the benefits of smoking cessation in middle-aged or elderly coronary patients, an even greater benefit should be expected in young patients because of their specific characteristics, which are presented in the current review.


Young persistent smokers after a premature AMI constitute a high-risk subgroup for a recurrence of cardiac events. Therefore, smoking cessation is a key issue for improving their prognosis and all smokers should be offered effective antismoking treatment at the time of initial hospitalization.

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