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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Smoking - How Quitting It Is Good For Your Heart?

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Dr. Balaji RamagiriCardiologist • 33 Years Exp.MBBS, DM - Cardiology, MD
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If you are concerned about the health of your heart, one of the primary and most important things to do is quit smoking. Avoiding and abstaining from smoking will heal the nicotine damage caused to your heart. This will enable you to lead a long and healthy life. Here are the reasons why you should quit smoking for the sake of your heart:

  1. Reduced risk of heart attack: The benefits of not smoking start hours after you quit, and the heart rate and blood pressure get normalised slowly. By quitting smoking, your chances of having a heart attack are reduced by 50%.
  2. In case of women, quitting smoking has special benefits: Women generally have a smaller body frame than men, and the harmful effects of smoking on a woman’s heart are considered to be more dangerous and concentrated. Female smokers under the age of sixty are more likely to experience a condition known as cholesterol plaque erosion, which is a fatal blood vessel condition. Women smokers are likely (seven times more than men) to develop heart complications due to smoking.
  3. When you quit smoking, your heart is no longer exposed to harmful chemicals: Cigarette smoke contains toxins such as arsenic, formaldehyde and benzene. The chemical substances may be hazardous to the blood vessels in your body, and the heart muscles get damaged. Once you quit smoking, these chemicals will no longer enter your body, making your heart healthier.
  4. Quitting smoking benefits other people as well: When children and people are exposed to tobacco smoke, their chances of having plaque in their heart’s arteries are enhanced. This may cause a stroke.
  5. Quitting smoking reduces the chances of getting hospitalised: A smoker may be at the risk for getting hospitalised because of several conditions such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, much more than a non-smoker. After quitting smoking, the chances of being hospitalised decrease within five years.
  6. Quitting smoking lowers the risk of having atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a blood vessel disease which is caused due to inflammations all over the body. Because of this, the arteries may stiffen and thicken. Smokers face the risk of acquiring this condition three times more than non-smokers.

You can quit smoking most effectively by combining behavioural support along with prescribed medication. People using this type of multi-treatment are likely to become successful at quitting smoking. You should consult a specialist who is certified in tobacco treatment, who will provide you with a plan. It will include counselling, medicines and a nicotine replacement therapy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.


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