How to Quit Smoking and Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Smoking is one of the most important preventable cause of premature death in Europe and the US. Each year 1 million deaths are reported due to smoking. Of those premature deaths 36% are from cancer, 39% from heart disease and 24% from lung disease. The mortality rate among smokers is about three times higher than among people who have never smoked.

Smoking increases the risk of:-Heart attack-Stroke

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Stop Smoking!

Cigarette Smoking and Heart Attack

Cigarette Smoking is the most important risk factor for coronary artery disease that you can change. Regardless of your age, cigarette smoking increases your risk cardiovascular disease. In women who smoke and use the pill, the risk of cardiovascular disease is greatly increased. When you smoke it decreases HDL (good cholesterol) and increases LDL (bad cholesterol)

Cigar and Pipe Smoking

Cigar and pipe smoking present a risk of death from coronary artery disease and stroke, however, that risk is not as high as cigarette smokers. In part, this may be due to users being less likely to inhale smoke.

Passive or Secondhand Smoking

Passive or secondhand smoke also presents a risk of death from coronary artery disease and stroke, however, that risk is not as high as cigarette smokers. An estimated 40,000 people die due to secondhand smoke each year.

Causes of Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine is an addictive drug. When you try to quit, the withdrawal symptoms that occur are rather unpleasant. They include:-Irritability-Hostility-Anxiety-Depressed mood-Difficulty concentrating-Decreased heart rate

-Increased appetite or weight gain

What Smoking Does to the Body

The carbon monoxide in smoke decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood and increases fatty acids and sugar in the blood. Another substance in cigarettes is nicotine.

Nicotine causes:-Increased heart rate-Increased blood pressure

-Arteries to narrow

Nicotine increases the risk of heart attack by:-Encouraging fatty buildup in arteries-Producing carbon monoxide, which may damage inner walls of arteries-Causing vessels to narrow and harden

-Causing a change in blood that make clots

-Step OneList reasons to quit and read them dailyWrap your cigarette pack with paper and rubber bandsWhen you smoke, write down the time of day, how you feel and how important the cigarette is to you (scale 1–5)

Rewrap the pack

-Step TwoKeep reading your list reasons to quit and add to themDon’t carry matches and keep cigarettes out of reach

Each day try to smoke fewer cigarettes (the ones that aren’t most important based on your rating scale)

-Step ThreeContinue step twoDon’t buy a new pack until you finish the one your smokingChange brands to one lower in tar and nicotine

Try to stop for 48 hours at one time

-Step FourQuit smoking completelyIncrease your physical activityAvoid situations you relate to smokingFind a healthy substitute for smoking

Do deep breathing exercises when you get the urge

If You Smoke after Quitting

This doesn’t mean you’re a smoker again — do something right away to get back on trackDon’t punish yourselfThink about why you stopped smokingDecide what you will do the next time it comes up

Sign a contract to be a nonsmoker

Life After Quitting

Sense of smell comes backSmokers cough goes awayWill digest food easierBreathe much easierEasier to climb stairs

Live longer and have less chance of heart disease, lung disease and cancer

Handling the Stress of Not SmokingTry deep breathingSet aside 20 minutes for relaxation each dayThink positive!Listen to relaxation tapes


Nicotine SubstitutesNicotine gum and patchesWellbutrin


Christiaan Janssens

CRO Akwa Wellness

Sources and References:

Nash SH, Liao LM, Harris TB, Freedman ND. Cigarette smoking and mortality in adults aged 70 years and older: Results from the NIH-AARP cohort. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2017; 52(3):276–283.

Hecht SS. Tobacco carcinogens, their biomarkers and tobacco-induced cancer. Nature Reviews. Cancer. 2003; 3(10):733–744.

National Cancer Institute. Cancer Trends Progress Report: Secondhand Smoke Exposure. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, January 2017.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (December 1992). Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
Hatsukami DK, Stead LF, Gupta PC. Tobacco addiction. Lancet 2008; 371(9629):2027–2038.

Piano MR, Benowitz NL, Fitzgerald GA, et al. Impact of smokeless tobacco products on cardiovascular disease: implications for policy, prevention, and treatment: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2010; 122(15):1520–1544.

Villanti AC, Richardson A, Vallone DM, Rath JM. Flavored tobacco product use among U.S. young adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2013; 44(4):388–391.

Henley SJ, Thun MJ, Chao A, Calle EE. Association between exclusive pipe smoking and mortality from cancer and other diseases. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2004; 96(11):853–861.

Smith-Simone S, Maziak W, Ward KD, Eissenberg T. Waterpipe tobacco smoking: Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior in two U.S. samples. Nicotine Tobacco Research 2008; 10(2):393–398.

Knishkowy B, Amitai Y. Water-pipe (narghile) smoking: An emerging health risk behavior. Pediatrics 2005; 116(1):e113‒119.

Prignot JJ, Sasco AJ, Poulet E, Gupta PC, Aditama TY. Alternative forms of tobacco use. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2008; 12(7):718–727.

Inoue-Choi M, Liao LM, Reyes-Guzman C, et al. Association of long-term, low-intensity smoking with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. JAMA Internal Medicine 2017; 177(1):87–95.

Doll R, Hill AB (Sep 1950). “Smoking and carcinoma of the lung; preliminary report”. British Medical Journal. 2 (4682): 739–748.


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