- Translational Research
- Novel and emerging technologies
- HRUK/Simplyhealth Grant
- Healthy Heart Grants
- Healthy Hearts
- Run for Heart Research UK
- Walk for Heart Research UK
- Cycle for Heart Research UK
- Extreme events
- Sing for your Heart
- Collecting sponsorship online
- Support us
- About us
- Contact us
Smoking is bad for your heart and can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Some of the 4000 chemicals in cigarettes increase the risk of plaque building up on the artery walls, increase blood pressure and reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood – bad news for your heart and arteries.
Even smoking just five cigarettes a day can double the chance of having a heart attack and the recovery rate for smokers after a heart attack is significantly lower than that of a non-smoker. The good news is that after six months of giving up, your risk of having a heart attack begins to fall.
Second hand problem
It’s not just smoking directly that can put you at risk, even breathing in ‘second hand’ smoke regularly can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Reduce your chances of inhaling second hand smoke by avoiding smoky environments and asking partners or friends not to smoke around you.
Ditch the cigarettes
Stopping smoking isn’t easy and for some the battle against tobacco is far from over, but if you are one of the 70% of smokers who want to give up for good, don’t give in now. You can create your own individual plan by combining the following different methods.
- set a date for quitting and gradually reduce the amount you smoke leading up to that date. You could choose a birthday, anniversary or religious festival as the day you start your new smoke-free life
- tell friends and family what you are doing and ask for their support and tell them not to offer you any cigarettes
- get rid of all smoking materials from your home, office and car
- be positive – remember, the physical and emotional symptoms that you will experience are a sign that you are doing well
- take up a hobby and stay active; keeping busy will help to keep your mind off cigarettes
To find out more about the effect smoking has on your heart, and get more tips on how to quit, you can download our 'Smoking and the heart' leaflet from our heart smart leaflets section, or visit the NHS Smokefree website.