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How to Quit Smoking and Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Smoking is one of the most important preventable cause of premature death in Europe and the US. Each year 1 million deaths are reported due to smoking. Of those premature deaths 36% are from cancer, 39% from heart disease and 24% from lung disease. The mortality rate among smokers is about three times higher than among people who have never smoked.

Smoking increases the risk of:

-Heart attack
-Stroke
-Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
-Cancer


Cigarette Smoking and Heart Attack


Cigarette Smoking is the most important risk factor for coronary artery disease that you can change. Regardless of your age, cigarette smoking increases your risk cardiovascular disease. In women who smoke and use the pill, the risk of cardiovascular disease is greatly increased. When you smoke it decreases HDL (good cholesterol) and increases LDL (bad cholesterol)

Cigar and Pipe Smoking


Cigar and pipe smoking present a risk of death from coronary artery disease and stroke, however, that risk is not as high as cigarette smokers. In part, this may be due to users being less likely to inhale smoke.

Passive or Secondhand Smoking


Passive or secondhand smoke also presents a risk of death from coronary artery disease and stroke, however, that risk is not as high as cigarette smokers. An estimated 40,000 people die due to secondhand smoke each year.

Causes of Nicotine Addiction


Nicotine is an addictive drug. When you try to quit, the withdrawal symptoms that occur are rather unpleasant. They include:

-Irritability
-Hostility
-Anxiety
-Depressed mood
-Difficulty concentrating
-Decreased heart rate
-Increased appetite or weight gain


What Smoking Does to the Body

The carbon monoxide in smoke decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood and increases fatty acids and sugar in the blood.  Another substance in cigarettes is nicotine.  


Nicotine causes:

-Increased heart rate
-Increased blood pressure
-Arteries to narrow


Nicotine increases the risk of heart attack by:

-Encouraging fatty buildup in arteries
-Producing carbon monoxide, which may damage inner walls of arteries
-Causing vessels to narrow and harden
-Causing a change in blood that make clots


How You Can Quit Smoking

-Step One
List reasons to quit and read them daily
Wrap your cigarette pack with paper and rubber bands
When you smoke, write down the time of day, how you feel and how important the cigarette is to you (scale 1-5)
Rewrap the pack


-Step Two
Keep reading your list reasons to quit and add to them
Don't carry matches and keep cigarettes out of reach
Each day try to smoke fewer cigarettes (the ones that aren't most important based on your rating scale)


-Step Three
Continue step two
Don't buy a new pack until you finish the one your smoking
Change brands to one lower in tar and nicotine
Try to stop for 48 hours at one time


-Step Four
Quit smoking completely
Increase your physical activity
Avoid situations you relate to smoking
Find a healthy substitute for smoking
Do deep breathing exercises when you get the urge


If You Smoke after Quitting

Life after smoking

This doesn't mean you're a smoker again – do something right away to get back on track
Don't punish yourself
Think about why you stopped smoking
Decide what you will do the next time it comes up
Sign a contract to be a nonsmoker


Life After Quitting


Sense of smell comes back
Smokers cough goes away
Will digest food easier
Breathe much easier
Easier to climb stairs
Live longer and have less chance of heart disease, lung disease and cancer


Handling the Stress of Not Smoking
Try deep breathing
Set aside 20 minutes for relaxation each day
Think positive!
Listen to relaxation tapes
Exercise


Nicotine Substitutes
Nicotine gum and patches
Wellbutrin
Hypnosis


Christiaan Janssens

CRO Akwa Wellness


Sources and References:

Nash SH, Liao LM, Harris TB, Freedman ND. Cigarette smoking and mortality in adults aged 70 years and older: Results from the NIH-AARP cohort. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2017; 52(3):276-283.

Hecht SS. Tobacco carcinogens, their biomarkers and tobacco-induced cancer. Nature Reviews. Cancer. 2003; 3(10):733-744. 

National Cancer Institute. Cancer Trends Progress Report: Secondhand Smoke Exposure. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, January 2017.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (December 1992). Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking: Lung Cancer and Other Disorders. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
Hatsukami DK, Stead LF, Gupta PC. Tobacco addiction. Lancet 2008; 371(9629):2027–2038.

Piano MR, Benowitz NL, Fitzgerald GA, et al.  Impact of smokeless tobacco products on cardiovascular disease: implications for policy, prevention, and treatment: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2010; 122(15):1520-1544.

Villanti AC, Richardson A, Vallone DM, Rath JM. Flavored tobacco product use among U.S. young adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2013; 44(4):388-391.

Henley SJ, Thun MJ, Chao A, Calle EE. Association between exclusive pipe smoking and mortality from cancer and other diseases. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2004; 96(11):853–861.

Smith-Simone S, Maziak W, Ward KD, Eissenberg T. Waterpipe tobacco smoking: Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior in two U.S. samples. Nicotine Tobacco Research 2008; 10(2):393–398.

Knishkowy B, Amitai Y. Water-pipe (narghile) smoking: An emerging health risk behavior. Pediatrics 2005; 116(1):e113‒119.

Prignot JJ, Sasco AJ, Poulet E, Gupta PC, Aditama TY. Alternative forms of tobacco use. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2008; 12(7):718–727.

Inoue-Choi M, Liao LM, Reyes-Guzman C, et al. Association of long-term, low-intensity smoking with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. JAMA Internal Medicine 2017; 177(1):87-95.

Doll R, Hill AB (Sep 1950). "Smoking and carcinoma of the lung; preliminary report". British Medical Journal. 2 (4682): 739–748.


Websites:

https://www.cancer.gov

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10566.php

https://www.quit.org.au/articles/how-reverse-health-effects-smoking/




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