Questions About Smoking, Tobacco, and Health

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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