How can you say that smoking causes heart disease and stroke?If you ask smokers, nonsmokers, or ex-smokers what they think are the consequences of smoking, no one will hesitate to mention lung cancer, emphysema, chronic coughing, and other respiratory problems. Only a few will mention heart disease.
Smoking not only is a major risk factor for lung cancer and emphysema but also doubles an individual’s likelihood of developing heart disease. Smokers with heart disease are up to 70 percent more likely to die of heart disease than are nonsmokers. The heart disease risk increases in relation to the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Individuals who smoke up to 14 cigarettes a day are approximately twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who don’t smoke. Those who smoke 15 to 24 cigarettes a day are about four times as likely, and those who smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day are six times as likely to develop heart disease. These statistics, added to the risk statistics for cancer, emphysema, and chronic respiratory diseases, may well shock some people into quitting.