The nicotine in cigarette smoke is a big part of the problem. It raises your blood pressure and heart rate, makes your arteries more narrow and hardens their walls, and also makes your blood more likely to clot. It stresses your heart and sets you up for a heart attack or stroke.
Is your blood pressure higher than it should be? Lower than the high blood pressure range, but still above normal?
That's prehypertension, and it may be more serious than you think.
Prehypertension is between 120-139 for the first number in your blood pressure reading, and/or 80-89 for the second number. Nearly 30% of American adults have prehypertension, according to the CDC.
What's the risk? You're more likely to get high blood pressure (hypertension).
Also, you may be more likely to have a...
Quitting smoking isn't easy, but as hard as it can be to kick the habit, you can do it. It will make a huge difference in your health, right down to the inside of your blood vessels. Kicking the habit is right up there with exercise, eating a healthy diet, and taking any medications that your doctor prescribes.
The bottom line: The stakes are too high to NOT quit, even if you need to quit several times before it lasts.
How to Quit Smoking
There's no single method that works for everyone. You need to prepare and get support. Here's how to start: