Did you know that just a few cigarettes a day, social smoking, or exposure to second-hand smoke increases your risk of heart disease?
The use of nicotine and tobacco products increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by damaging the arteries of the heart, causing the build-up of plaque and development of blood clots, thereby restricting blood flow and eventually leading to heart attacks and strokes. The risk of heart attack for smokers can be twice as high as someone who does not smoke.
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and your heart!
Some benefits that you can experience when you quit smoking include:
- Your family and friends will no longer be at risk from your second-hand smoke
- Your sense of taste and smell may improve
- Exercising will become easier
- Your fertility levels will improve
- Your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby will also increase
- You will save money.
What happens to your body when you quit smoking:
- During the first 24 hours, your heart rate will slow, and your blood pressure will become more stable.
- After the first day, your nicotine and carbon monoxide levels will have dropped, and oxygen will be reaching your heart and muscles more easily.
- Within one week your sense of taste and smell may have improved.
- Within three months your lungs will be recovering, getting better at removing mucus, tar and dust, and you will be coughing or wheezing less, plus circulation to your hands and feet will be improving.
- After six months you’ll notice your stress levels are likely to have dropped, and your lungs are much clearer.
- After one year your lungs will be healthier and stronger, and breathing much easier than if you’d kept smoking.
- Within two to five years your risk of heart disease will have dropped significantly and will continue to do so the longer you continue to not smoke.
- After 15 years your risk of heart attack and stroke will be similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
Commit to Quit
See your GP or contact the Quitline 13 78 48 (13QUIT) for help and support to make a commitment to your heart, quit smoking and reduce your risk of heart disease or heart attack.
Heart Support Australia Peer Support Groups & Free Membership
Experiencing a heart event increases your risk of having another. Your mental health, social interactions with people, and participation in activities play a huge role in your recovery and improving your quality of life. It is important to avoid isolation and make sure you are connecting with family, friends and support groups with your peers to help reduce your risks of a secondary heart event.
Visit here to find out more about Heart Support Australia Peer Support Groups and free membership.