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heart
May 31, 2002

how does smoking affect your heart?

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Smoking cuts off oxygen to cells, which impairs the heart's ability to create ATP (a source of energy) and increases tissue damage during the cut-off of oxygen during heart attack.

Nicotine in cigarettes can lead to an increase in adrenaline release which can, in turn, lead to blood vessel constriction and an increase in heart rate, the end results of which is to increase blood pressure. There are several other potential effects of the toxic substances in tobacco.

In studies, smoking was associated with a threefold increase in risk for heart attack. It can take between 5-10 years to normalize risk to that of a nonsmoker once you quit smoking... so the sooner, the better!


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