If you smoke, your chance of dying from a
heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater than that of a
person who does not smoke. About 1 out of 4 heart attacks is believed to
be directly related to smoking. Smoking is a much more important risk factor
for a heart attack than
high blood pressure, or
stress. Exercise and a good diet cannot erase the
risks to your heart caused by smoking.
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
In active tobacco users, a lack of nicotine produces a wide range of withdrawal symptoms, including any or all of the following:
Constipation or diarrhea
Fatigue, drowsiness, and insomnia
Increased hunger and caloric intake
Increased desire for the taste of sweets
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.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this