On November 15, millions of people across America will participate in The Great American Smokeout. This day is set aside each year to explain the effects of smoking and encourage people to put down their tobacco products. Discover how tobacco negatively affects your heart, tips to stop, and more:
Tobacco & Your Heart
Beyond lung and throat cancer, smoking has a direct correlation to the development of heart conditions. With every puff, you are increasing your risk of having a stroke, heart attack, and other life-threatening issues. Here are four of many ways tobacco affects your heart:
Forms Blood Clots – Excessive blood clots block the blood from traveling freely through your body’s arteries. This forces the heart to pump harder and push blood to the body. Blood clots have serious consequences such as organ damage, heart attack, stroke, or death.
Increases Adrenaline – When you smoke, your body produces adrenaline which raises your blood pressure. High blood pressure is linked to several heart conditions such as arrhythmia, heart attacks, and strokes.
Narrows Arteries – Cigarette chemicals damage the lining of your arteries. When your arteries are not clean, fatty material called atheroma builds up within them and causes your arteries to narrow. This affects the efficiency of blood flow within the arteries.
Reduces Oxygen – Your blood transfers oxygen all over your body to help it function properly. But, if you smoke, the carbon monoxide will reduce the amount of oxygen available for your blood to use; thus, making your heart work harder.
Tips to Stop Smoking
The nicotine in cigarettes is what makes this an addictive habit. That’s why it’s no surprise that people have a hard time with smoking cessation. Consider the following ways you can stop smoking for good:
Celebrate Milestones – Every day you stop smoking is another day toward better health. Celebrate milestones to help you stay excited about stopping. It’s a big deal!
Create a New Habit – Many smokers don’t want to stop smoking because it’s a habit they like. Instead of smoking, create a new healthy habit to take its place such as exercising regularly or performing yoga.
Quit with a Friend – If you ask another smoker to stop with you, you will have an accountability partner to help you through the withdrawals.
How Middle Georgia Heart Can Help
Your lifestyle is directly related to your heart health. If you smoke, you have an increased chance of developing certain heart diseases. Fortunately, Middle Georgia Heart can help you treat the issue! Schedule an appointment today.