- Is smoking tobacco really addictive?
- Why do people start smoking?
- How many people use tobacco?
- What in tobacco smoke is harmful?
- How does tobacco smoke affect the lungs?
- Does smoking tobacco affect your heart?
- How does smoking affect pregnant women and their babies?
- What are some of the short- and long-term effects of smoking tobacco?
- Is secondhand (environmental) tobacco smoke dangerous?
- How does tobacco use affect the economy?
- What’s being done to protect people from the hazards of smoking?
- Are spit tobacco and snuff safe alternatives to smoking?
- What are the health risks of smoking pipes or cigars?
- What about electronic cigarettes? Aren’t they safe?
- Is dissolvable tobacco safe?
- What about more exotic forms of smoking tobacco, such as clove cigarettes, bidis, and hookahs?
- What can I do to help with any damage that may have been caused by smoking?
- Can quitting really help a lifelong smoker?
- How do people quit tobacco?
- To learn more
Does smoking tobacco affect your heart?
Yes. Smoking tobacco increases the risk of heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States. Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes are all risk factors for heart disease. But the biggest risk factor for sudden death from a heart attack is cigarette smoking.
A smoker who has a heart attack is more likely to die within an hour of the heart attack than a non-smoker. Surprisingly, very low levels of tobacco smoke can harm the heart, even amounts that are too low to cause lung disease.
Last Medical Review: 02/13/2014
Last Revised: 02/13/2014