“Quitting tobacco is the best thing you can do for your health,” says University of Michigan dietitian Susan Ryskamp, M.S., R.D., noting that more than 400,000 Americans die as a result of cigarette smoking each year.
According to the American Heart Association, cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease as smoking can result in high blood pressure, which stretches out the arteries and causes scarring. Bad cholesterol, or LDL, can get lodged in the scar tissue and combine with white blood cells to form dangerous clots.
- Robs you of some of your good cholesterol.
- Increases the blood’s clotting likelihood, increasing your risk of stroke.
- Contributes to peripheral artery disease by putting strain on arteries and veins, increasing the risk for aortic aneurism.
- Makes it more difficult to exercise.