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Smoking and Tobacco

How to Quit Smoking and Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Smoking is one of the most important preventable cause of premature death in the US. Each year 430,700 deaths are reported due to smoking. Smoking increases the risk of:

Cigarette Smoking and Heart Attack

Cigarette Smoking is the most important risk factor for coronary artery disease that you can change. Regardless of your age, cigarette smoking increases your risk cardiovascular disease. In women who smoke and use the pill, the risk of cardiovascular disease is greatly increased. When you smoke it decreases HDL (good cholesterol) and increases LDL (bad cholesterol)

Cigar and Pipe Smoking

Cigar and pipe smoking present a risk of death from coronary artery disease and stroke, however, that risk is not as high as cigarette smokers. In part, this may be due to users being less likely to inhale smoke.

Passive or Secondhand Smoking

Passive or secondhand smoke also presents a risk of death from coronary artery disease and stroke, however, that risk is not as high as cigarette smokers. An estimated 40,000 people die due to secondhand smoke each year.

Causes of Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is an addictive drug. When you try to quit, the withdrawal symptoms that occur are rather unpleasant. They include:

What Smoking Does to the Body

The carbon monoxide in smoke decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood and increases fatty acids and sugar in the blood. Another substance in cigarettes is nicotine. Nicotine causes:

Nicotine increases the risk of heart attack by:

How You Can Quit Smoking

Step One

Step Two

Step Three

Step Four

If You Smoke after Quitting

Life After Quitting

Handling the Stress of Not Smoking

Nicotine Substitutes


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Last Reviewed: Apr 01, 2006

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Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University