Smoking and Heart Disease

Are you a heavy smoker? Have you felt something weird around your chest area? Be very afraid. It might be something really serious. Not only is smoking cigarette associated with breathing problems, weak immune system, and lung cancer. It is also a major risk factor for heart disease. In fact, approximately 20% of all mortalities from heart disease in the United States are directly associated with cigarette smoking.

Heart effects of smoking

The more the number of cigarette sticks you smoke everyday, the greater the chance of a heart attack. Risk of heart disease further increases the longer you. If you smoke a pack everyday, you have double the risk than non-smokers. If you smoke and take birth control pills at the same time, your risk of stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and heart attack increase exponentially.

In addition, cigarette smoke also affect the health of people around you. Secondhand smoke or passive smoke can cause heart disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory conditions. About 35,000 non-smokers suffer from heart disease and die annually due to exposure to secondhand smoke. Overall, smoking causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, damage to cells in coronary arteries and blood vessels, decreased oxygen flow to the heart, and increased blood clotting.

Quit smoking now

Smoking is dangerous to your health, especially your heart. If you want to live a longer and healthier life, and if you want to protect the health of people around you, then now is the time to quit smoking.

If you quit, you will reduce risk of disease (heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, emphysema, lung cancer, ulcers, throat cancer, gum disease, and many other), improve your sense of smell and taste, and prolong your life. It will also increase your stamina, make you look better, and allow you to save significant amount of money.

How to quit smoking?

If you decide to quit smoking, you need to be very ready both mentally and emotionally. Quit for your own sake, and not to please your family or friends. Planning ahead will make your quitting a lot easier. You have to select a date to quit smoking and stick to it. It will also help to list down reasons you want to quit. Also write down the date and time you smoke and what you do when you smoke. Through this, you will know what triggers your smoking.

Create a list of activities that you can do to divert your attention from smoking cigarette. Do something worthwhile when you feel the urge to smoke. You may want to swim, hit the gym, jog in the nearest park, or grab a book and read. Consult with your doctor regarding the use of nicotine patches or nicotine gums. Many smokers who are trying to quit find these aids very helpful.

Ask your doctor about the drugs (such as Wellbutrin and Chantix) that will help you quit. You might also want to join a smoking cessation program or support.