Lower omega-3 intake among smokers


In previous posts, we have already talked about some findings about the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and smoking: lower omega-3 fatty acids levels have been observed among smokers; the dietary supplementation with EPA and DHA has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of daily cigarettes smoked and in tobacco craving episodes in regular smokers (comparing with placebo treatments); and it has been shown that supplementation with EPA and DHA reduces nicotine dependency.

Now, we know something more about the relationship between omega-3 intake and tobacco smoking: non-smokers consume significantly more fish than smokers, especially salmon, and they have significantly higher DHA levels (compared to smokers). Are differences in eating choices a consequence of changes in the taste caused by existing substances in cigarette smoke? Is this dietary deficiency of omega-3 associated with an increased risk of smoking? The low omega-3 intake could be either a risk factor for or a consequence of tobacco use. Anyway, there is an inverse and significant relationship between omega-3 intake and smoking.

Considering that fatty acids probably interfere in smoking habit and that the food intake pattern is a changeable behavior, it is possible that an increase in omega-3 consumption may have a role in smoking prevention or as an adjuvant in treatment of tobacco dependence.



Scaglia N, Chatkin J, Chapman KR et al. The relationship between omega-3 and smoking habit: a cross-sectional study. Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Mar 22;15(1):61. doi: 10.1186/s12944-016-0220-9.