How Does Smoking Affect Your Heart Health?

Most people think that smoking tobacco products like cigarettes or e-vapes only impacts your overall respiratory health. However, this is far from the case since smoking can lead to negative effects on your heart heart. A smoking habit can lead to raised blood pressure, which is the leading cause of stroke!

In fact, smoking can negatively impact every part of your body—from your brain and your eyes down to your feet.

During American Heart Month this February, our team at AFC Urgent Care Warrington wants to share some information about how smoking affects your heart health. Read on as we take a look!

How Does Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Smoking negatively impacts your heart health in a number of ways. When you smoke, your heart rate increases, your heart beat may become erratic, your blood pressure increases and your artery walls may be damaged.

Over time, this can cause your heart to operate less efficiently, making it work harder to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. This puts you at risk of a number of heart health conditions, including heart disease. Smoking in general can cause patients to have irregular heart beat and increase general factors that lead to heart complications.

Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases are the result of worsened heart health and respiratory health, which can develop if patients continue to smoke or use other tobacco products. The list of cardiovascular diseases that can result from long-term smoking includes:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysms

What Are the Benefits of Quitting Smoking?

There are several benefits to your overall health when you quit smoking, but let’s talk through a few—many of which are nearly immediate after you quit smoking.

Within 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal. Within the first few months after you quit, your blood begins flowing more efficiently. A year after you quit, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.

Smoking Cessation Tips

Smoking cessation is the health-related act of quitting smoking in order to improve your overall health. Patients that need to quit smoking for health-related reasons can get started with the following:

  • Find your reason to stay motivated, especially during your bad days.
  • Create a plan for quitting.
  • Consider nicotine replacement therapy.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Lean on loved ones.
  • Avoid alcohol and other triggers that might cause you to smoke.
  • Find healthy ways to handle stress.