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Smoking and Coronary Artery Disease

Table of Contents


Quitting smoking is probably the most important step you can take to decrease your chance of coronary artery disease and a heart attack. Smoking raises your risk of getting coronary artery disease and dying early from it.

Carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other substances in tobacco smoke can promote atherosclerosis and trigger symptoms of coronary artery disease.


Smoking also affects those around you. Secondhand smoke increases other people's risk of coronary artery disease.

Benefits of quitting

Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do if you have coronary artery disease. Your risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke will start to go down after you quit. In time, your risk may be about the same as that of someone who has never smoked.

If you've had angioplasty or bypass surgery to improve blood flow to your coronary arteries, those arteries will be less likely to get narrowed again if you quit smoking.

You will also feel better after you quit smoking. Your angina symptoms may get better. You will have more energy and will breathe easier.

How to quit

Having a plan and using medicines can help you quit. A quit plan helps you plan ahead. Before you quit, you identify the things that are likely to trigger tobacco use and plan how you'll manage them. You also think about what you need for support. Your doctor can suggest medicines to help.

Credits for Smoking and Coronary Artery Disease

Current as of: June 24, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff (
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