Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease
Smoking, in addition to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes tops the list as a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In fact, smoking has been classified as the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States.
The importance of smoking cessation
According to the American Heart Association, eliminating smoking not only reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, but also reduces the risk for repeat heart attacks and death by heart disease by half. Research also indicates that smoking cessation is crucial in the management of many contributors to heart attack, including atherosclerosis, thrombosis, coronary artery disease, and cardiac arrhythmias.
Quitting smoking is both a mental and a physical undertaking. Mentally, you should be ready and relatively stress-free. Physically, you need to commit to exercising daily and getting plenty of sleep. A person trying to quit must overcome two obstacles: a physical addiction to nicotine and a habit.
The National Cancer Institute offers the following tips to help users quit using tobacco products:
- Think about why you want to quit
- Pick a stress-free time to quit
Ask for support and encouragement from family, friends, and colleagues
- Start doing some exercise or activity each day to relieve stress and improve your health
Get plenty of rest
Eat a balanced diet
Join a smoking cessation program, or other support group
Ready to quit? Sign up for Lakeland's free Smoke-Free Life program!