Smoking Increases Heart Disease Risk
Many researchers suggest one of the best things a person can do to decrease the risk of heart disease is to stop smoking cigarettes. Smoking increases a person's risk for heart disease from 2 to about 4 times greater than nonsmokers. Smoking can damage the heart muscle, its blood vessels, can raise blood pressure, increase carbon monoxide levels, and reduce oxygen available to heart tissue.
People who do not smoke but are exposed to second-hand smoke are at greater risk for heart disease than those not exposed to second-hand smoke. Although over 135,000 people die each year from heart disease related to smoking, it is never too late to quit smoking because once you quit, your risk of heart disease begins to drop almost immediately.