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Health Effects of Smoking on the Heart

The heart is a fist-sized muscle that pumps blood around your body, circulating oxygen and nutrients to all your body's organs and tissues. Poisons from cigarettes are also carried everywhere the blood flows. Circulating blood also picks up waste products from the body's cells. The kidneys, liver, and lungs filter out these waste products.

The Health Effects of Smoking on the Heart

Smoking causes coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 61 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and other conditions. More than 2,600 Americans die every day because of cardiovascular diseases, about 1 death every 33 seconds. Cigarette smoking has been associated with all types of sudden cardiac death in both men and women.

Smoking-caused coronary heart disease may contribute to congestive heart failure. An estimated 4.6 million Americans have congestive heart failure and 43,000 die from it every year.

In 2000, about 1.1 million Americans had heart attacks. Even with treatment, 25 percent of men and 38 percent of women die within one year of a heart attack.

Smoking causes atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Poisons in the blood from smoking cigarettes contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Most cases of coronary heart disease, stroke, and artery disease are caused by atherosclerosis.

Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm, a bulge in the wall of the aorta near the stomach. Each year, about 15,000 Americans die of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It is the 13th leading cause of death in the United States. Aneurysms are four times more common in men than women.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Former smokers have half the excess risk of dying from abdominal aortic aneurysm than current smokers.

Peripheral artery disease decreases after quitting completely.

A year after you quit, your risk of coronary heart disease will have decreased by half. After 15 years, the risk will be nearly that of a non-smoker.

Source: Surgeon General's 2004 Report

Health Effects of Smoking on the Body

What Smoking Does to the Brain - Smoking has physical and psychological effects on the brain.

Smoking Affects the Eyes - Smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts.

Mouth, Throat Larynx, Esophagus - Are all effected by smoking and secondhand smoke.

Smoking Damages the Lungs - Smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer.

Smoking Damages the Heart - Smoking damages the heart and weakens the blood vessels.

How Smoking Affects the Stomach - Smoking causes stomach cancer.

Smoking and the Kidneys - Smoking also causes kidney cancer.

Smoking Damages your Bladder - Smoking is also cause cancer of the bladder.

Smoking and the Pancreas - Smoking causes pancreatic cancer.

Smoking and Pregnancy - Smoking harms both the mother and the unborn child.
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