Among the many diseases and complications derived from smoking, heart disease is one of the most common. A sometimes deadly disease, steps should be taken to quit smoking in order to maintain heart health.
It is well documented that smoking carries with it numerous adverse health effects. It is no question that smoking contributes to numerous diseases, cancers, and is even billed as the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States. One of the major risk factors of using tobacco products, is heart disease.
Unlike congenital heart defects, which are usually the outcome of genetic or hereditary symptoms, heart disease is a culmination of, or in reference to any disorder which adversely affects the heart muscle.
Heart Disease and Tobacco Use
Tobacco use in general contributes to the onset and advancement of heart disease in many ways. Smoking can adversely affect the lungs in a manner that results in a decrease in blood flow to the heart. This leads to reduced activity levels, which in turn, can result in the buildup of fat in the arteries called, Atherosclerosis. This agitates the condition, and further reduces blood flow to the heart. This may even lead to a heart attack.
According to Heart.org, medical research has shown that smoking also increases the risk of coronary heart disease by increasing the risk of blood clots. If a blood clot becomes dislodged and travels to the heart, it could lead to heart attack or stroke, and could be fatal.
Smoking also increases blood pressure, which carries its own weight in additional risk factors.
Tobacco use is not limited to being a contributing factor of heart disease. Tobacco use increases the risk for diseases and adverse health effects such as aortic aneurism, asthma, numerous birth defects, chronic bronchitis, immune dysfunction, macular degeneration, and more. Smoking also leads to an increased risk of blood and lung cancer.
Difficulties in Quitting
Cigarettes can be one of the most difficult substances to quit. Some studies suggest that it is harder to quit cigarettes, than for some to abstain from heroin. However, quitting has never been more important. Cigarettes reportedly produce hundreds chemicals, and when lit, produce nearly 7,000. At least 69 of these are known to cause cancer.
Decades ago, it was not fully understood how dangerous tobacco was to human health. Now, there are thousands of published papers reporting on studies which demonstrate the dangers of cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Although quitting may be difficult for many, for others, it is seemingly impossible – but it is not impossible. A few simple lifestyle changes can mean the difference between just being alive, and truly living.
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Heart Health
Hope is not lost, no matter how difficult it is to quit smoking. There are many changes to your lifestyle you can make that can aid you in your journey to a happier, healthier life. Avoiding triggers can be a big help in the beginning. These adjustments aren’t permanent. They are temporary arrangements to help you avoid situations when you find you are most likely to smoke.
There are different ways you can avoid these triggers. If you smoke with coffee, maybe you could try switching to tea. If you smoke while you pace on the phone, try remaining seated while you talk. If you smoke on the drive to work, try carpooling. Anything you can do to make a difference should be done in order to improve your heart’s health.
There are many smoking cessation aids on the market today, as well. There are nicotine gums, which release measured doses of nicotine to help combat cravings. There are nicotine patches, which release nicotine directly onto your skin, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.
However, one of the highest-rated smoking cessation aids on the market today, are electronic cigarettes. These devices come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Most who are new to electronic cigarettes prefer cig-a-like models. These mimic real cigarettes, and produce a rich vapor cloud that resembles real smoke. These devices have demonstrated a high success rate for quitting smoking – even long-term.
Any steps you can take that will improve your heart’s health, and your general wellbeing, should be taken. Your body can regenerate on many levels. All that your body needs to improve, strengthen, and regain its health – is for you to quit smoking as soon as possible.