Everyone knows smoking is bad for your lungs, but you may not realize tobacco is responsible for 1 in 10 heart disease deaths.
Thursday was World Tobacco Day, and the World Health Organization released a video explaining how cigarettes take a toll on your heart. In addition to warning viewers about the number of heart disease deaths caused by smoking, the video also notes that second-hand smoke can put you at risk of heart attack and stroke.
To illustrate the effects of smoking, the 30-second clip shows a heart transforming from smooth to damaged and full of ripples.
Why smoking causes heart attacks
Compared to those who have never picked up a cigarette, smokers have double the risk of heart attack. But what makes the habit so bad for our tickers?
Smoking damage prevents our hearts from functioning correctly. It changes the lining of our heart’s arteries, causing fat to build up. This build-up makes arteries more narrow, which in in turn, limits how much blood and nutrients can pass through the heart. Smoking also makes the blood clot together, which further hinders blood flow.
Giving up smoking isn’t easy, but your body will thank you. There’s no one “right way” to kick the habit; to get some ideas, check out MensHealth.com‘s story on three guys who quit smoking for good.
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