Your Heart on Secondhand Smoke

Man smoking cigarette

You probably know that smoking compromises your heart and increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. But what about secondhand smoke? Does it play a role in the onset or progression of heart conditions? Passive smoking or secondhand smoke harms both kids and adults, but does it negatively affect your heart in the same way as smoking?

Connections to Heart Health

Secondhand smoke, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), has connections to cardiovascular-related disabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that breathing this type of smoke can increase your risk of having a heart attack, as it interferes with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems.

Damage to Non-Smokers

Cardiology centers in Mt Pleasant noted that secondhand smoke contains different harmful chemicals that people who smoke inhale. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it can damage your heart and blood vessels in a way that it harms active smokers. It increases the risk of future heart disease in many kids and teens, as it damages heart tissues and increases blood pressure.

Studies and Increased Risk

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK noted that even low levels of exposure to cigarette smoke could increase heart disease risk. A research team from the University of California San Francisco also reported that thousands of heart attacks could be prevented by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke.

Avoiding Secondhand Smoke

If you don’t smoke, it is best to avoid secondhand smoke. If some friends and family members smoke, ask them politely not to do it inside the house or car. You can also support them in kicking the habit. Here a few other tips to avoid or reduce exposure to the said smoke:

  • If there are some who smoke around you, kindly mention to them that it makes you cough.
  • Don’t go to places where smoking is common or allowed.
  • Keep the windows open if someone near you is smoking.
  • Choose and support facilities and businesses with no-smoking policies.

Quitting smoking and avoiding passive smoking can benefit your heart for the long-term. Don’t forget to eat a balanced diet, maintain regular exercise, and manage stress.

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