Quit smoking for a healthy heart

Smoking is one of the controllable risk factors of heart disease


Smoking is one of the controllable risk factors of heart disease and its associated health complications. It a known fact that a person who smokes is twice as likely to suffer from a heart disease as compared to people who don’t. But, what many are unaware of is the fact that a smoker puts his family (including children) as well as relatives at a higher risk of heart complications too. Here is how smoking can take a toll on your heart health.

How smoking affects the heart?

Chemicals found in tobacco damages the heart and blood vessels and causes one’s arteries to become narrow, which ultimately can lead to a heart attack. Apart from that, carbon monoxide present in cigarettes also increases blood pressure as well as heart rate, thereby forcing the heart to pump more blood and oxygen to the body organs — invariably overworking it.

Dr. Amar Singhal, HOD, Cardiology, Delhi based Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute says, ‘Smoking not only puts an individual at a greater risk of heart disease but also increases the risk of various health complications. Another fact that most people are unaware of is that passive smoking (secondhand smoke) can also increase the risk of heart disease. Also, women smokers taking birth control pills are at an increased risk of blood clots, which in turn may cause heart problems.’

How to quit smoking?

When a person quits smoking, the risk of heart disease falls to that of a non-smoker in a span of five years. Apart from this, the chances of lung disease, cancer and other heart complications like heart attack decreases significantly, if a person quits smoking.

Here are few ways that might help you to kick the butt

Cold Turkey – This means to quit smoking without the aid of any substitute or supplement for nicotine. It is one of the best and most effective way to quit smoking coupled with therapy.

Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) – This approach involves substituting the nicotine cravings minus the harmful effects of tobacco. These nicotine substitutes that aid to stop smoking include nasal sprays, chewing gums, inhalers, lozenges and patches.

Medications – Drugs like Bupripion and Varenicline are being marketed as effective smoking cessation drugs that works as antidepressants and reduces nicotine cravings by making it less pleasurable.

E- cigarettes – It is an electronic device that mimics the entire smoking process and also produces a mist that creates the same feeling of smoking.

Natural ways – Exercising, diet changes, behavior therapy counseling and use of ayruvedic herbs that help cleanse the body are few natural remedies that can help to quit smoking. Apart from this, other effective measures that help to quit smoking include cultivating a hobby, devoting your in reading or other activities (gardening, meditation, etc) or volunteering any function or gathering in your community.

September 22, 2014

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