Quit smoking

Smoking is an important lifestyle risk factor for the development of CVD. According to estimations from SCORE, the 10-year fatal CVD risk is approximately doubled in smokers1.

Cigarette smoking is destructive and even passive smoke exposure has been shown to increase the risk of CVD1 and should be avoided.

Smoking may cause CVD through several mechanisms. For instance, nicotine, an addictive substance in cigarettes, indirectly increases heart rate and blood pressure, thus forcing the heart to work harder, which can result in organ and blood vessel damage. Additionally, smoking increases blood TG levels and LDL-cholesterol while decreasing HDL-cholesterol2.

Smoking is a reversible CVD risk factor: quit as soon as possible!

The JBS “HeartAge” risk calculator emphasizes the benefits for smoking cessation even at an older age. Patients should be encouraged to quit smoking at every available opportunity and supported during the smoking-cessation process3.

Consult the Joint European Guidelines on CVD prevention in clinical practice1 to know more about smoking cessation therapies.

Many of the key principles for behavior change also apply to smoking cessation and remembering the “five A” can be a helpful strategy:

Ask about smoking status
Systematically inquire about smoking status at every opportunity
Advise on quitting
Advise on quitting
Assess readiness
Determine the person’s degree of addiction and readiness to quit
Assist with a strategy
Agree on a smoking cessation strategy, including setting a quit date, behavioral counselling, and pharmacological support
Arrange follow-up
Arrange a schedule of follow-up

Changing smoking behavior is important in lowering CVD risk

Test your knowledge
According to estimations from SCORE the 10-year fatal CVD risk for smokers is
  1. approximately doubled
  2. approximately tripled
  3. has no impact
Check your answer