The Great American Smokeout

(KTVI) – Thursday is the ‘Great American Smokeout.’ People normally think lung cancer when they should be thinking heart  disease.  Dr. Michael Lim with Saint Louis University Hospital talks about why and how smoking is related.

1)    Heart disease is our number one killer and almost 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking.

2)      A person’s risk of heart disease and heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. People who smoke have a two to four times higher chance of having heart disease.

3)      Women who smoke and also take birth control pills increase several times their risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

4)      It is estimated that nearly 70,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

5)      Cigarette smoking produces a greater risk for coronary heart disease in people younger than age 50.

6)      Eliminating smoking not only reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, but also reduces the risk for repeat heart attacks and death by heart disease by 50 percent.