Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Giving up smoking can significantly lessen the possibility of heart problems to 50% or more, studies suggest.
Smoking and heart problems
Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease and cause of three deaths from a heart-related problem such as cardiovascular disease. The heart problem is one of the biggest causes of deaths in the US killing about 80,000 people every year. It has been estimated that around 16 million of people in America have heart problems. A majority of people have had a heart attack and stroke.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. It has been evolved that people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes per day may show signs of cardiovascular disease. The risk of heart diseases increases with the number of cigarettes you smoke daily and when you continuously smoke for years. Some cigarette brands claim to sell the product with low levels of tar or nicotine, but the bitter truth is that they do not reduce the risk of heart disease.
Smoking causes heart problems
The smoke that a cigarette generates has a chemical that causes swelling and inflammation of cells that line blood vessels and results in a cardiovascular condition.
- Coronary heart disease- The type of heart disease develops when clots block arteries that carry blood to the heart muscles. Cigarette smoke thickens the blood and causes clotting inside arteries and veins. Clotting interferes with the blood flow and gives rise to a heart attack or sudden death.
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – When the blood vessels become narrowed and interfere with the blood flow, especially in arms, legs, hands, and feet. Body cells and tissues lack oxygen when the blood flow is reduced.
- Stroke- Stroke is defined as a loss of brain function occurs when there is interference in the blood flow. Strokes are severe once causing permanent brain damage and death. This life threatening condition is likely to occur in smokers rather than nonsmokers.
- Atherosclerosis- In this condition, narrowing of the arteries occurs when cholesterol, fat, and other substances in the blood stream to form plaque that accumulates in the arterial wall. Cigarette smoke causes an increase in the formation of plaque in blood vessels.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm- Smoking is one of the leading causes of early damage to the abdominal aorta, which gives rise to an aneurysm. It is a life threatening condition and smoking causes almost all deaths from abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Giving up smoking minimizes heart disease risks
Everyone knows that smoking damages the heart vessels quickly, but fortunately, the damage can be repaired in most people who quit smoking at the right time. Even, individuals who have smoked for years can also see rapid improvement in their heart health. You must know that even a few cigarettes can damage the heart, so it is necessary to stop smoking to keep your heart safe from the smoking effects.
There is short term as well as long term benefits when you give up smoking. You should quit smoking for your health and the health of those around you. The day you quit smoking, your body starts noticing the benefits. Your heart health starts to improve, and the risk for heart disease reduced immediately. Within a year of giving up cigarette smoking, the risk of developing a heart problem drops. People who already had a heart attack can also see improvement in their heart health. In such people, the danger of having another heart attack is reduced.
After five years of quitting smoking, smokers lessen the risk of developing a stroke. The effects of smoking, reduce significantly in smokers after one year of leaving. One can use medicines to stop smoking. This will help minimize nicotine withdrawal symptoms and the cravings associated with it. A lot of people chew nicotine gum, another way to help quit smoking. These gums provide oral gratification similar to the smoking habit. It is a simple method to help people stop smoking.