Healthwise
To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Smoking and Coronary Artery Disease

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

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

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

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

What are the benefits of quitting smoking?

Your risk for CAD drops relatively soon after you quit smoking. After your first year of not smoking, your risk of heart disease decreases by half. Also, your risk of having a heart attack decreases when you stop smoking.1

When you quit smoking, you cut your risk of death even more by staying away from cigarettes for good. After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of death from heart disease is the same as if you had never smoked at all.1

If you have had angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery to repair narrowed or blocked arteries, quitting smoking can decrease the risk of those arteries narrowing again. Your doctor will urge you to quit smoking so you get the most benefit from these procedures.

How do I quit smoking?

Medicines and counseling can help you quit smoking. Talk with your doctor about ways to quit for good.

For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.


References

Citations

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010). A Report of the Surgeon General: How tobacco smoke causes disease: The biology and behavioral basis for smoking-attributable disease. Available online: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/tobaccosmoke/report/full_report.pdf.

Credits for Smoking and Coronary Artery Disease

Current as of: April 29, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine


Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.