Cardiovascular professionals and other medical professionals all point toward heart disease as a leading cause of death for both men and women. Along with diet and exercise, reducing, or better yet, eliminating tobacco use can significantly lower your heart disease risk.
Smoking or other tobacco use (smokeless tobacco and so on) is one of the major causations or risk factor for contributing to heart disease. Medical professionals state that no amount of smoking is considered safe. You may think that smokeless tobacco or low tar and nicotine cigarettes are safe, but they are risky as well. And so is exposure to secondhand smoke.
One of the reasons that tobacco smoke presents such a high-risk level for heart and circulatory disease are the more than 4,800 chemicals found in smoking. These chemicals can damage not only your heart, but your circulatory system as well—narrowing of the arteries and such.
Nicotine makes your heart work harder and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide that replaces the healthy oxygen in your blood. Your heart then has to work harder to circulate oxygen through your body.
Social smoking (situations such as “only” with friends when out in social situations) is also a risk. Other risks include women who take birth control pills and smoke. They have a high change of stroke or heart attack than their counterparts who avoid both. And this risk increases when women are over the age of 35.
However, if you quit, within one year, your risk of developing heart disease drops dramatically. And it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been smoking, you will reduce your risk factor. So it’s never to late to quit. Find a physician who can help you with a smoking cessation program today. Join a support group! It may not be easy, but it will be worth it!