Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you’re a smoker, quit as soon as possible, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start.
It’s time to quit! Within 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins repairing itself. The healing process continues for years:
- 20 minutes after quitting your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours after quitting the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- 1 year after quitting your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 5 years after quitting your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.
- 10 years after quitting your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s. Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
- 15 years after quitting your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s. Smokers have twice the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers. Smoking doesn’t just, kill; it also leads to long-term disability and dependence on others. Once you stop smoking, your risk for heart attack and stroke declines each year.
Need help quitting smoking? We can help! Visit the Smoking Cessation Resources webpage to learn more. Call the tobacco quit line to get help 1-800-QUIT NOW ( 1-800-784-8669 & start the process today.
Most risk factors for cardiovascular diseases —specifically high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity—are preventable and controllable. Reducing your risk is as easy as knowing your ABCS.
- Appropriate Aspirin Therapy
- Blood Pressure control
- Cholesterol Management
- Smoking Cessation
Preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes requires work from all of us. Be 1 in a Million Hearts™ & take the pledge now! How do you keep your heart healthy? Share your tips and success stories with us!