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Smoking and the Heart
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Infants and Second Hand Smoke

Nearly half the infants exposed to second-hand smoke from their parents' cigarettes showed signs of a potent carcinogen in their urine, according to this study. The carcinogen substance in question, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone, or NNK, is known to cause cancer in rats. It is also the most likely cancer-causing agent in active or passive smokers.

Smoking and the Heart

Everybody knows smoking is bad for the lungs. But did you know that tobaccco smoke is equally damaging for the heart? Read more and watch the "Smoking and the Heart" video from the American College of Cardiology.

Smoking and the Heart

This is a very interesting video about the impact of smoking on heart health.

In case your Internet connection is not fast enough to play the clip, here is the text version:

“Nicotine from the cigarettes activates reward circuits in the brain. These reward circuits are not there just to make you feel good. Those reward circuits are there because they are essential for your survival. Rats that do not have dopaimine die of starvation. So nicotine kidnaps these circuits that are there to keep you alive and makes you think that, well, you need nicotine to stay alive.

The impact of smoking on the heart is quite extensive. First of all, tobacco is a major factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. That’s no big surprise. Smoking doubles the risk of sudden cardiac death in patients with coronary disease. Also, exposure to other people’s smoke increases the risk of heart disease even for those folks who are non-smokers - the effect of the environment.

Smoking cessation has immediate benefits, part of these mediated by the clotting cascade. There are also these long-term benefits: reductions in stroke, repeat by-pass grafting operations, a reduction in lethal arrhythmias, a reduction in secondary cardiovascular events, a reduction in revascularization procedures after by-pass surgery. There is reduced death rates (mortality) after coronary by-pass surgery and also after angioplasty, and there is also reduction in the inflammatory mediators of coronary artery disease."

The original location of this article can be found here.

How Can I Quit Smoking?

There are many resources available, both on the web and in your neighborhood, if you are interestedin stopping smoking.

The American Cancer Society has an excellent Guide to Quitting Smoking that I highly recommend. They have a Quitline phone counseling program with branches in your area - just call their numbers at 1-800-ACS-2345 or 1-800-227-2345 to find out more.

How About Quit Smoking Medications Such As Chantix?

Ask your doctor if you would benefit from using one of the medications available that are known to help smokers quit, including a new one called Chantix. Up to 44% of smokers who use chantix quit smoking after 12 weeks.

Dr Gily

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