Quit Smoking, Your Heart Deserves a Break

Smoking & Heart Disease

Emory Healthcare is a proud sponsor of the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life Program. This program was created by the American Heart Association to help people understand it is never too late to make changes that can improve your health. We will be discussing the final element in Life’s Simple 7 this week – the importance of stopping smoking.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your overall health if you want to live a long life. Even if you have been smoking for years, by quitting, your lungs will begin to heal and your heart will get stronger.

Why is smoking unhealthy?

Smoking damages your entire circulatory system by:

  • Increasing your risk for coronary heart disease, aneurysms and blood clots.
  • Blood clots and hardened arteries increase your risks for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
  • Smoking can also reduce your good cholesterol (HDL) and your lung capacity, making it harder to get the physical activity you need for better health.

What Can I Do to Stop Smoking?

Millions of people have quit so you can too – even if you have tried before and it was unsuccessful. Some ideas to help you stop smoking:

  • Quit with a friend. If another friend smokes – make a pact to quit together. It is always easier with someone else doing it with you and holding you accountable.
  • Take one day at a time, one hour at a time
  • Learn how to replace the craving for cigarettes with healthier options such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Don’t consider yourself a failure if you have one cigarette, just commit to yourself to not take another one.
  • Look into support groups in your neighborhood

If you are a parent, it is very important to talk to your children early about the dangers of smoking. Teach them other outlets to use their energy such as sports.

Remember that during your lifetime, smoking will only add to your stress by taking away your good health. The pleasure you will get from smoking is not worth the number of years it will take off your life. Make a pact and quit smoking today! Your heart, your body, your mind, your family, your friends and society will thank you for it!

About Dr. Jeffrey Hershey

Dr. Hershey is a cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center.   He sees patient at his clinic office which is located in the physician office building at Emory Johns Creek Hospital .  Dr. Hershey is passionate about helping patients lower their chances of developing heart disease.

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