Cigarette smoking is the biggest risk factor for both heart disease and stroke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases the risk of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks in both men and women.
Some sobering statistics:
- A smoker’s risk of a heart attack is more than twice that of nonsmokers.
- Smokers who have a heart attack also are more likely to die and to die suddenly (within an hour).
- Cigarette smoking acts with other risk factors to greatly increase the risk for coronary heart disease.
- People who smoke cigars or pipes seem to have a higher risk of death from coronary heart disease (and possibly stroke), but their risk isn't as great as cigarette smokers'.
- Exposure to other people's smoke increases the risk of heart disease, even for nonsmokers.
- Smoking increases the risk of a second heart attack among survivors.
- Women who smoke and use oral contraceptives have an even greater risk than smoking alone.
The good news is that quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke. One year after quitting, the risk drops to about one-half that of current smokers and gradually returns to normal in persons without established cardiovascular disease.
Even among persons with cardiovascular disease, the risk also drops sharply one year after quitting smoking and it continues to decline over time, but the risk does not return to the levels of a never-smoker.
The information on this site is just the beginning. You will find more smoking and quitting smoking related information on the following sites: