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How Smoking Really Affects Your Heart

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It is a well-known fact that smoking causes breathing-related problems and lung cancer. Did you know smoking also increases your risk of heart attack? Few do, and yet they typically smoke numerous times throughout the day. Each cigarette you smoke increases the risk of heart disease. In fact, roughly 1 in 5 deaths due to heart disease are related to smoking. The risk is higher for women who smoke while on birth control pills. And even secondhand smoke may cause heart disease and lung cancer.

How Does Smoking Cause Heart Disease?

We all know smoking is bad for our health. It’s the nicotine. Nicotine is detrimental to your heart’s health. Nicotine will:

  • Reduce the oxygen in your heart
  • Raise blood pressure
  • Speed up heart rate
  • Increases likelihood of blood clots, which lead to heart attack or stroke
  • Harm blood vessels, especially those in the heart

The Benefits of Quitting Smoking

More people are striving to stop their smoking addiction. For good reason, too. When you quit smoking, your odds of heart disease or high blood pressure are significantly reduced. 1 to 2 years after quitting, you’ll be even less likely to have heart disease.

Quitting smoking also reduces your chances of lung cancer, and other types of cancer, emphysema, and other serious health conditions.


Even light smoking or “social” smoking damages your heart and its vessels. For some, including women on birth control and those with diabetes, smoking provides a greater risk to the heart. When you smoke regularly, atherosclerosis is more likely to form. This condition includes plaque buildup that blocks blood flow in your arteries. These accumulations are common in the legs and heart especially.

Contact Us

To schedule a consultation for your heart health, contact Brookhaven Heart by calling 631-654-3278. When it comes to your heart, taking proactive steps, like quitting smoking, make all the difference.