Why is quitting smoking so important for your heart?
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart and overall health. After you quit, your risk of a heart attack starts to drop after only 2 days.5 And after one year, your risk of heart disease will be just half of what is was when you were a smoker.6
How does smoking increase your risk of heart disease?
Smoking increases your risk of heart disease in many ways:
- Smoking lowers the oxygen levels in your blood and speeds up your heartbeat, which forces your heart to work harder.
- Smoking raises your blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease.
- Smoking increases your risk of blood clots. A blood clot in the heart can cause a heart attack.
- Smoking increases the buildup of fatty plaque on the walls of your arteries, which clogs the arteries and increases your risk of heart disease.
Does secondhand smoke increase your risk?
Yes, even secondhand smoke can increase the risk of heart disease. So smoking isn’t just hurting you – it’s hurting those around you too.
Other ways quitting smoking improves your health
Besides being a great step towards a healthy heart, quitting smoking can also:
- Reduce your risk of cancer
- Give you more energy
- Help you breathe easier
- Improve your senses of smell and taste
- Reduce your risk of premature wrinkles
- Save you money
5. Health Canada. Quit smoking. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/tobac-tabac/quit-cesser/index-eng.php, accessed 11 October 2011.
6. Public Health Agency of Canada. Why should I stop smoking. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/cvd-mcv/stop_smoking-cesser_de_fumer-eng.php, accessed 11 October 2011.