Did you know? Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans of both genders.
Smoking is one major risk factor for heart disease—and it’s a risk factor that’s entirely preventable. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Dedham wants to share some insight about why smoking is so hazardous to your heart and how quitting helps.
How Does Smoking Affect Your Heart?
According to the American Lung Association, when a cigarette is burned, there are more than 7,000 chemicals created. These chemicals put your heart and arteries at risk of damage, which can then increase your chances of suffering from heart disease.
About one in every five deaths associated with heart disease can be linked back to smoking, which is why smoking cessation is vital in reducing your risk of heart disease.
Ways Smoking Hurts Your Heart
- Increases heart rate
- Can cause irregular heart beat
- Increases blood pressure
- Damages arteries
How Fast Does Quitting Smoking Affect Your Heart Health?
This information is truly amazing! As soon as 20 minutes after you stop smoking, your heart rate will drop. Then 12 hours after your last cigarette, your carbon monoxide level drops, allowing oxygen to more easily get to the vital organs throughout the body.
One year after quitting, your heart disease risk is half that of a smoker’s. So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to quit smoking?
Ways to Quit Smoking
- Find your reason to stay motivated, especially during your bad days.
- Make a plan for quitting.
- Consider nicotine replacement therapy.
- Give yourself a break.
- Lean on loved ones.
- Avoid alcohol and other triggers that might cause you to smoke.
- Find other ways to manage stress.
Curious where your heart health stands? Visit our medical team at AFC Urgent Care Dedham today for a checkup and lab work to find out your heart health numbers!