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• You know smoking harms your lungs, but did you know it can be just as hard on your heart? • Smoking can cause major damage to your entire cardiovascular system, including your: • blood cells • blood vessels • heart tissues • veins • arteries1

• Only 15% of the U.S. population smokes cigarettes, yet smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death in the United States.2 • Smoking leads to more than 480,000 fatalities every year. • Secondhand smoke alone causes approximately 41,000 annual deaths.2 • That makes cigarettes a greater public health danger than alcohol, illegal drugs, car accidents, guns and HIV combined.3 • Smoking can shorten a man’s life by 12 years and a woman’s life by 11 years.3 • Cigarettes burn over 7,000 chemicals, including acetone, which is used in nail polish remover, and butane, which is used in lighter fluid.4

• It’s not just cigarettes either. Any type of tobacco use can damage the cardiovascular system. • That includes cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco.

• The health dangers increase if you combine tobacco use with other risk factors such as: • Obesity • Lack of exercise • Diabetes • Oral contraceptives

• Numbers only tell us so much. Each one represents a life cut short because of tobacco.

• Take the case of Brian, who started smoking when he was 12 years old. • By the time he was 35, he had a major heart attack that put him in the hospital. • He continued to smoke until he damaged his heart beyond repair, requiring a full transplant. • His story is one of many real-life tragedies that involve smoking and heart disease.

• Tobacco use increases a person’s risk of: • Hypertension: High blood pressure caused by nicotine • Blood Clots: Increased blood clotting caused by nicotine • Damaged Blood Vessel: Damage to the lining of the blood vessels • Atherosclerosis: Plaque buildup in the arteries that leads narrowing of the vessels and restricted blood flow • Arrhythmias: Abnormal heart rhythms (e.g. fast heartbeats, slow heartbeats, skipped beats, etc.)1

• Smoking can also lead to serious, even fatal conditions such as: • Coronary Heart Disease: Plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart • Peripheral Arterial Disease: Plaque buildup in the blood vessels that carry oxygen from the heart to the rest of the body • Heart Failure: The heart muscles are unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs • Heart Attack: Blocked blood flow to the heart • Aortic Aneurysm: Enlargement of the aorta, the body’s main artery • Stroke: Interruption of blood supply to the brain1

• How do you lower your risk of serious cardiovascular disease? • The best way is to never start smoking in the first place. • If you already use tobacco, there is only one solution: quit. • It’s never too late to make healthy choices that can increase your quality of life, not to mention your life expectancy. • According to researchers, those who have suffered a heart attack can reduce their risk of death by up to 36% over the course of two years just by quitting.5

• The best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is to educate yourself about the causes, signs and symptoms. • The next step is to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist for consultation and examination. • The longer you wait, the greater the chance you’ll need cardiac surgery to correct serious problems with your heart or blood vessels. • Need help? • At Crystal Run Healthcare, we continually provide resources, such as classes and educational videos, that can help people quit any tobacco habit.

Crystal Run Healthcare is dedicated to providing first-class medical care throughout the state of New York. Our heart specialists work closely with patients to prevent disease, diagnose problems early and provide effective treatment, which may include anything from lifestyle changes to cardiothoracic surgery. Find a cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon who can help you get your health back on track. You can easily book an appointment with many of our physicians online.

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Summary At Crystal Run Healthcare, we believe the best cure is prevention. That’s why we not only treat cardiovascular disease once it develops, we also do everything we can to stop it before it becomes a lifethreatening problem. If you smoke, it’s important to see a cardiologist who can assess your risk factors, identify any existing problems, and develop strategies to help you stay tobacco free for the rest of your life.

Tobacco and Your Heart |At Crystal Run Healthcare, we believe the best cure is prevention. That’s why w...

Tobacco and Your Heart |At Crystal Run Healthcare, we believe the best cure is prevention. That’s why w...