CHICAGO - Experts agree. It takes three weeks to break a bad habit or to start a good habit. So three weeks after proclaiming that New Year’s Resolution, there should be millions of new non-smokers.
“Smoking causes coronary heart disease - the leading cause of death in the United States,” said vascular surgeon Carlos Rueda, MD. “Persons who smoke are two to four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than non-smokers.”
As a vascular surgeon and a member of the Chicago-based Society for Vascular Surgery®, Dr. Rueda has witnessed first-hand the effects of cigarette smoke on health. “Smoking doubles a person’s risk for a stroke,” he said. “In addition, smoking narrows arteries resulting in greater risk of developing conditions such as peripheral vascular disease and abdominal aortic aneurysms.”
And then there’s lung cancer. An estimated 157,000 Americans died from lung cancer in 2010 according to the American Cancer Society. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Americans.
Dr. Rueda notes that the health benefits for people who stop smoking are quickly apparent:
· A feeling of being in charge; no longer dependent on cigarettes,
· An improved sense of smell;
· More disposable income;
· Healthier-looking skin;
· Energy for activities which can counteract weight gain.
The Centers for Disease Control indicates that a year or two after smoking cessation, the risk of coronary heart disease diminshes. Today, there are more adult non-smokers in the United States (80 percent) than smokers (20 percent).
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,370 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at www.VascularWeb.org
® and follow SVS on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube.