The benefits of smoking cessation for your heart

Your heart does not like tobacco

Smoking causes all sorts of damage inside the body. For instance, your heart and blood vessels pay the price due of this bad habit. Toxic chemicals that come from cigarette smoke constrict and harden blood vessels (atherosclerosis) and hamper the flow of oxygen. Blood pressure increases and the heart must work harder.

It is well-known that smoking ranks at the top of the list of causes for cardiovascular disease and stroke in Canada. Here are a few statistics of interest:

  • Cardiovascular conditions alone are responsible for one third of all deaths in Canada.
  • People who smoke present an increased risk of heart disease compared to nonsmokers or former smokers. This risk increases depending on how long and how many cigarettes were smoked.
  • Smokers have up to four times more chances of sudden cardiac death than nonsmokers.
  • Compared to the average life expectancy, heavy smokers cut short theirs by about 9 years, and about 12 years compared to a non-smoker’s life expectancy.
Your heart does not like tobacco

Smoking cessation—a life-altering decision

Good news! Starting now, you can improve your cardiovascular health and your life expectancy by choosing to quit smoking for good. In fact:

  • As soon as a person quits smoking, his/her risk of heart disease begins to decrease.
  • Less than a year after having quit smoking, the risks of dying from heart disease is cut in half.
  • In less than 5 years, the risk of suffering from a stroke is equal to that of a nonsmoker.
  • In less than 15 years, the risk of heart disease becomes comparable to that of a nonsmoker.

Your pharmacist—an ally

In order for your approach to be a success, make sure to have all of the necessary tools from the start. Pharmacists can provide information and advice at each step of the process. They can also help you by:

  • adding to your thoughts before you begin the smoking cessation process
  • establishing an action plan with you
  • prescribing a nicotine replacement therapy (patch, chewing gum, lozenges, inhaler or spray)
  • directing you to your doctor if he/she considers that oral medication would be preferable
  • giving you tips and hints to deal with withdrawal symptoms
  • encouraging you to continue despite the difficulties you meet

For additional information on the subject, read the following text: Your pharmacist’s role in smoking cessation.

Don’t try to quit smoking without the use of a smoking-cessation aid. Products available without a doctor's prescription significantly increase your chances of success, as they reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Your pharmacist can provide information to determine if these products are covered by your insurance and if they can be prescribed to you.

We wish you continued success and good health!

Your pharmacist—an ally
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The benefits of smoking cessation for your heart

As you know, smoking has many harmful effects on health. Certain organs are more affected than others, including the lungs (of course) and the heart. Cigarettes are cardiovascular health's number one enemy.
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