February 02, 2012
Patricia Folan, RN
Daniel Jacobsen, NP
If you are a tobacco user and have heart disease or an irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, there are some things you need to know.
Smoking causes many health problems for everyone who does it, but some of the most significant damage is to the heart and blood vessels.
- Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the US.
- Even smoking as little as one cigarette a day doubles your chance of having a heart attack. The more you smoke, the higher that risk goes.
- Quitting smoking may have a greater impact on your heart disease than any other treatment or medication.
- People who continue to smoke after their first heart attack are much more likely to have another heart attack compared to those who quit smoking after their first heart attack.
- People with high blood pressure who use tobacco have worse heart disease than nonsmokers, even with treatment.
- Quitting smoking can help reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) level, also known as the “bad” cholesterol.
- You are more likely to suffer a stroke. And when a tobacco user has a stroke, the stroke tends to be more severe, with worse outcomes.
It is important for anyone who uses tobacco to think about quitting. Quitting tobacco is the number one thing you can do for your health. This is even more important for someone with heart disease.
Quitting is hard, but with help from North Shore-LIJ’s Center for Tobacco Control and your healthcare provider, you can succeed. For free, confidential help, call 516-466-1980.