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Smoking is responsible for several diseases, such as cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases, and heart disease, as well as premature death. Scientists say there are over 4,000 compounds in cigarette smoke. A sizeable number of them are toxic – they are bad for us and damage our cells. Some of them cause cancer – they are carcinogenic. Smoking causes an accumulation of fatty substances in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, the main contributor to smoking-related deaths. Smoking is also a significant contributory factor in coronary heart disease risk. People with coronary heart disease are much more likely to have a heart attack.
Tobacco smoke raises the risk of coronary heart disease by itself. When combined with other risk factors, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, physical inactivity, or diabetes, the risk of serious, chronic illness and death is huge.
Smoking also worsens heart disease risk factors. It raises blood pressure, makes it harder to do exercise, makes the blood clot more easily than it should. People who have undergone bypass surgery and smoke have a higher risk of recurrent coronary heart disease.
Posted in: Smoking