Skip to content

    Heart Disease Health Center

    Select An Article

    Smoking and Heart Disease

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Smoking and heart disease? Most people associate cigarette smoking with breathing problems and lung cancer. But did you know that smoking is also a major cause of heart disease for men and women?

    About 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking. That's because smoking is a major cause of heart attack.

    Recommended Related to Heart Disease

    Myocarditis

    Affecting several thousand Americans each year, myocarditis is a disease marked by inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). Exactly how many people are affected is hard to know because myocarditis often produces no symptoms. A wide range of infections and other problems can lead to myocarditis, which often develops in people who are otherwise healthy. Prevention or prompt treatment of infections is one of the best ways to prevent myocarditis.

    Read the Myocarditis article > >

    A person's risk of heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. Smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke, as well. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers. Women who smoke and also take birth control pills increase several times their risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and peripheral vascular disease.

    Cigarette smoke not only affects smokers. When you smoke, the people around you are also at risk for developing health problems, especially children. Environmental tobacco smoke (also called passive smoke or secondhand smoke) affects people who are frequently around smokers. Secondhand smoke can cause chronic respiratory conditions, cancer, and heart disease. It is estimated that around 35,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

    How Does Smoking Increase Heart Disease Risk?

    The nicotine present in cigarettes causes:

    How Can Quitting Smoking Help My Heart and Lifestyle?

    Now that you know how smoking can be harmful to your health and the health of those around you, here are some ways quitting can be helpful. If you quit smoking, you will:

    1 | 2 | 3
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    x-ray of human heart
    A visual guide.
    atrial fibrillation
    Symptoms and causes.
     
    heart rate graph
    10 things to never do.
    heart rate
    Get the facts.
     
    empty football helmet
    Article
    red wine
    Video
     
    eating blueberries
    Article
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Slideshow
     
    Inside A Heart Attack
    SLIDESHOW
    Omega 3 Sources
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Salt Shockers
    SLIDESHOW
    lowering blood pressure
    SLIDESHOW