A new British Medical Journal (BMJ) study has suggested that smokers need to quit cigarettes, rather than just cut back, in order to significantly lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The latest figures
Smokers who have even just one cigarette a day are still about 50% more likely to develop heart disease and 30% more likely to have a stroke, compared with people who have never smoked.
The figures varied between men and women. By smoking one cigarette a day, women are 9% more likely to develop heart disease and 6% more likely to have a stroke compared to men.
A deadly habit
Cardiovascular disease is the greatest killer of smoking and causes about 48% of smoking-related premature deaths.
On average, a 20-a-day habit causes 7 out of 100 middle-aged people to have a heart attack or a stroke.
It’s not all bad news
After only 24 hours of not having a cigarette, your risk of cardiovascular diseases already begins to decrease. So, even a small effort to cut back on cigarettes will have a good effect on your body.
If the above middle-aged group cut down from their 20 cigarettes a day, their risk of heart attack and stroke went down to just 3 people out of the 100 in the group.
Cut down today
If you need any ideas on how to stop this difficult habit, check out our post on 5 methods to help you quit smoking.