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Author: Eugene Wong

Cigarette smoking is a major cause of heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease. Nearly 40 per cent of all people who die from smoking tobacco do so due to heart and blood vessel disease. A smoker's risk of heart attack reduces rapidly after only one year of not smoking.

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How are smoking and heart disease linked?

Smoking damages the lining of blood vessels, increases fatty deposits in the arteries, increases blood clotting, adversely affects blood lipid levels,and promotes coronary artery spasm. Nicotine accelerates the heart rate and raises the blood pressure.

Smoking cigarettes increases the risk of heart disease, which is America's number one killer. Almost 180,000 Americans die each year from cardiovascular disease caused by smoking. Smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and lack of exercise are all risk factors for heart disease, but smoking alone doubles the risk of heart disease. Among those who have previously had a heart attack, smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have another.

How Smoking Affects the Body

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, mouth, reproductive organs, bones, bladder, and digestive organs. This article focuses on how smoking affects the heart and blood vessels.

About lungs


Smoking damages

CDC Terri Hall Dies 53 yrs The Graphic Anti Smoking Advocate Helped Millions Quit Losses Her Battle. Woman in graphic anti smoking ad dies, Terrie Hall Helped Millions Quit Smoking Dies At 53. A North Carolina woman featured prominently in a graphic government ad campaign to get people to stop smoking died Monday of cancer. Terrie Hall died at a hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., federal officials said. She was 53. "She was a public health hero," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the campaign. "She may well have saved more lives than most doctors do."
Tobacco smoke contains at least 43 carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances. Smoking causes many kinds of cancer, not just lung cancer. Tobacco use accounts for 30%, or one in three, of all cancer deaths in the United States. Smoking is responsible for almost 90% of lung cancers among men and more than 70% among women, about 83% overall. Cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, kidney, bladder, pancreas, and uterine cervix also have in common cigarette smoking as a major cause.



Smoking damages the arteries to the heart and brain, thereby increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.


Facts about smoking

The nicotine present in smoke causes heart disease by:

Decreasing oxygen to the heart.
Increasing blood pressure and heart rate.
Increasing blood clotting.
Damaging to cells that line coronary arteries and other blood vessels.