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How Does Smoking Impact Heart Disease and Stroke?

By Centers for Disease Control | Sep 10, 2014
How Does Smoking Impact Heart Disease and Stroke? image

Research has led to led to a wealth of knowledge on the negative health effects related to smoking.  Smoking is known to causes many diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases and affects smokers' overall health.  The CDC has gathered some of the key statistics on how smoking specifically affects heart health.

  • Cigarette smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smokers are 2–4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers.
  • Cigarette smoking approximately doubles a person's risk for stroke.
  • Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries). People who smoke have a much greater risk of developing peripheral vascular disease than nonsmokers.
  • Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30% and their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.
  • Breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk of heart attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk.