You can help your heart by living a healthy lifestyle.
People who smoke cigarettes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than people who do not smoke. They are at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, circulatory problems, cancer and lung disorders.
Smokeless tobacco contains a lot of sugar. This can make it harder to control your glucose levels. Nicotine has effects like both caffeine (""upper") and alcohol ("downer").
Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. More than 70 can cause cancer.
Tobacco products include cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, includes e-cigarettes and JUUL®), smokeless tobacco (dip or chew), cigars, hookahs and pipes.
Using tobacco exposes your body to chemicals such as:
Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death
in the U.S.
Cigarette smoking is the
most common form of nicotine addiction in the U.S.
Tobacco use is especially dangerous to your blood vessels and arteries. It can cause atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque (fatty substances found in your blood). Over time, the plaque hardens and narrows your blood vessels and arteries.
Smoking also makes the blood vessels and arteries sticky. This leads to "obstructions" in blood flow, meaning that your blood cannot flow easily. The side effects of using tobacco can result in needing stents to keep your blood vessels and arteries open. It can also lead to heart attack or stroke.
A damaged heart has to try to cope with the effects of tobacco. Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke can help reverse heart and blood vessel damage and reduce your heart disease risk.
Secondhand smoke is a mixture of smoke coming from the burning tips of cigarettes, pipes and cigars and smoke exhaled by smokers.
Anyone around secondhand smoke breathes in the chemicals from the tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke causes death and disease in people who do not smoke.
The only way to protect your family from secondhand smoke is to live in a smoke-free environment. No amount of secondhand smoke is safe.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Heart Failure, fifth edition, 1-931876-20-7
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
If quitting tobacco seems like
too much right now, consider
taking a break or a vacation
from tobacco use.
This can help you feel better
by restoring balance*.
If this goes well, maybe you
will take more breaks during
the year. This could lead to a
*Follow your doctor’s directions for
medicine, exercise, diet and other