For smokers, kicking the habit is one of the best ways to improve your health and reduce risk for heart disease, cancer and other conditions. Quitting might make sense, but it isn’t easy. You can find support here, whether you’re just thinking about quitting or have been smoke-free for years.
You'll find information on the benefits of quitting smoking, nicotine replacement therapy, and the physical and mental effects that quitting can have on our bodies.
When it comes to heart and vascular health:
Contact with secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke, from burning tobacco or the smoke breathed out from a smoker is also harmful.
Breathing in someone else's exhaled smoke lowers HDL or "good" cholesterol, raises blood pressure and can damage the heart tissue. It also increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Among nonsmokers, secondhand smoke increases the risk for developing heart disease or stroke by up to 30%. More than 34,000 nonsmokers die every year in the U.S. from coronary heart disease caused by secondhand smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The data are are so compelling that many workplaces have instituted smoking bans, and research shows a parallel drop in heart attacks, hospital visits for cardiac problems and, in some states, deaths.