Smoking even a few
cigarettes a day (1 to 4) increases your risk of
coronary artery disease. If a person who smokes has a heart attack, his or her risk of
sudden death is twice as great as the risk of a person who does not
I started smoking when I was a bored and lonely 17-year-old irrigating
alfalfa fields in Utah for money and reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance for enlightenment. I smoked watching magpies splash in the
ditch, and for 20 years I kept sucking those nasty things for reasons of
self-loathing and distraction, and mainly because I couldn’t stop. In 1996,
just before my son was born, I put a lid on it. I wasn’t going to contaminate
my babies with second-hand smoke. And it wasn't hard...
Your risk of having a heart attack is cut in half
2 years after you quit smoking. And 15 years after you quit, your risk of a
heart attack is similar to that of a person who never smoked.
if you have already had a heart attack, quitting smoking will reduce your risk
of having a second one.
Even if you gain weight when you quit, your risk
of heart attack decreases.
How soon you quit matters. People who quit smoking before age 50 reduce by half their
risk of dying in the next 15 years compared with continuing smokers.2 But if you quit smoking before age 35, almost all of the risks from smoking can be reversed.
If you already have coronary artery disease,
your risk of a second heart attack and possible sudden death decreases when you
A person who smokes is twice as likely to die from
stroke as a person who does not smoke. After you quit, your risk of stroke slowly goes down over time.