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People with epilepsy more likely to smoke, study reports

  • Scientists at the University Hospitals and Medical School of Geneva publish results from an epilepsy and tobacco smoking study.
  • The team analysed 429 people, aged 16 years and older, who had epilepsy and lived in French-speaking Switzerland.

A recent study published by Journal of Neurology details concerning the prevalence of smoking in the population of people living with epilepsy in Switzerland.

The team analysed 429 people, aged 16 years and older, who had epilepsy and lived in Switzerland who smoke at least one cigarette per day for the past 6 months. They compared the data with Switzerland’s general population database, which provides annual, detailed information about tobacco users.

A questionnaire which consisted of 13 questions regarding the persons smoking habits and 13 questions regarding the type of epilepsy they have was sent to neurologists to complete with their epilepsy patients. Four of the questions explored the link between epilepsy and smoking.

The results they found are shown below:

  • 32.1% of those living with epilepsy smoke. (28.8 % among women and 35 % among men) while the prevalence of smoking was 19.0 % in the general population in French-speaking Switzerland in the same period
  • 44.3% of those experiencing idiopathic generalized epilepsy were the highest category that smoked compared to 27.8% for other types of epilepsy.

If you would like further advice and support on this issue, please contact our helpline team on 01342 831342 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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