One of the best ways to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease is to avoid tobacco smoke. Don't ever start smoking. If you already smoke, quit. No matter how much or how long you've smoked, quitting will benefit you.
Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Don't go to places where smoking is allowed. Ask friends and family members to not smoke in the house and car.
Quitting smoking will benefit your heart and blood vessels. For example:
Quitting smoking can lower your risk of heart disease as much as, or more than, common medicines used to lower heart disease risk, including aspirin, statins, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors.
In recent years, communities in Montana, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Ohio have banned smoking at worksites and in public places. Some countries, including Italy, Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and France, have put similar bans in place.
Studies of these communities show a rapid drop in the number of heart attacks within the first year of the ban. The number of heart attacks continues to decrease as time goes on.
Researchers think these results are due to a decrease in active smoking and reduced exposure to secondhand smoke.
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Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Smoking and Your Heart, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
The Heart Truth®—a national heart disease awareness campaign for women—is sponsored by the NHLBI. The campaign's goal is to give women a personal and urgent wakeup call about their risk for heart disease.
Every woman has a story to tell and the power to take action to protect her heart health. Share your story with other women on Facebook.
The Heart Truth campaign offers a variety of public health resources to help educate women and health professionals about women’s heart disease.
Learn more about key campaign events, activities, and resources at www.hearttruth.gov.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.