Smoking, especially cigarettes, is now known to have devastating effects on the heart, causing a reduction in good cholesterol [HDL] which, in turn, increases the amount of bad cholesterol [LDL] which is known to cause strokes. Artherosclerosis, high blood pressure and sticky blood all contribute to heart disease. The relationship between cigarette smoking and cardiovascular disease has been long proven and a correlation between passive smoking and cardiovascular disease is also a factor. Attempts must be made to encourage people to quit smoking, especially amongst the young, if coronary heart disease is to be overcome.

The US Surgeon General has labeled this the “leading preventable cause of disease and deaths in the United States”. When smokers take up smoking few smokers actively consider the long-term effects of their actions and the effects of smoking: reactions such as cardiac disease and lung disease, high blood pressure and decreased exercise tolerance levels and, amongst other symptoms of cigarette smoking, the tendency for your blood to clot more easily. It may even be a matter of belief, or simply a lack of belief that such dreadful things as the link between cigarette smoking and cardiovascular diseases could not possibly happen to them. This fatalistic attitude does seem to be prevalent amongst smokers and it is only when realization takes hold that it really could happen to them that these same smokers would be prepared to quit smoking.

There are a number of independent risk factors known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Highest on this list is cigarette smoking and tobacco smoking with high blood pressure, less physical activity other important risk factors. With smoking so prevalent, heart disease really is a significant risk to a large portion of the population, especially amongst the younger population and those under the age of 50. When there is a family history of heart disease, the effects of smoking further increases the risk as it decreases the good cholesterol that is present in a person’s body. If people were aware that studies carried out on cigarette smoking provide good evidence that this is an important risk factor of developing strokes. It is not just the link between cigarette smoking and cardiovascular disease that poses a risk, but the damage that can be caused to a smoker’s cerebrovascular system, increased many times in women who are taking oral contraceptives.

Pipe smokers and cigar smokers have been shown to be at less risk than smokers as the relationship between cigarette smoking and cardiovascular disease is particularly prevalent. It has been suggested that this is probably due pipe smokers and cigar smokers rarely inhaling. Another factor for this lower incidence between the effects of smoking a pipe and cardiovascular disease is that less research has been done to establish any specific correlation. On the other side of the coin, however, there is passive smoking. This is an environmental hazard recognized so well now that the whole of the United Kingdom now bans smoking within public buildings and public places.

The effects of smoking by default is a largely debated issue although a consensus of agreement does acknowledge up to 69,600 premature deaths every year are caused directly from secondhand smoke and a good reason for parents to quit smoking. The correlation between cigarette smoking and cardiovascular disease has been irrevocably established and the majority of people, including a vast army of smokers themselves, agree that smoking does cause harm and attempts should continue to reduce the amount people smoke and to curtail the numbers of smokers as much as possible.

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