Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 2 to 4 times, which includes heart attack  and stroke. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of heart disease by itself, when it acts with other factors, it  increases risk a great deal more

How smoking affects your heart:
  1. Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material which narrows the artery. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

  2. The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, making your heart work harder.

  3. In addition, smoking thickens the blood making it more likely to clot, which also increases your risk of having a heart attack  or stroke.

  4. The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart has to pump harder to supply the body with the oxygen it needs.

There are 4,000 chemical components found in cigarettes and at least 250 of them are harmful to human health.

Secondhand smoke:

Active smokers are not the only ones at risk due to smoking. Secondhand smoke is a serious issue for non-smokers, especially children. Non-smokers who have other risk factors such as high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart diseases when they are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Quitting smoking:

One year after quitting, your risk of a heart attack or stroke is reduced by half.  In 5 to 15 years, your risk of stroke and coronary heart disease returns to that of someone who has never smoked.   

Tips for Quitting:
  • Set a date and create a plan: choose the method or combination you think will work best for you e.g. Nicotine patch, therapy etc.

  • Track your progress: Every day, mark on your calendar the number of days since you've smoked.

  • Examine causes of stress (certain people or situations can set off your urge to smoke). 

  • Ask your family and friends for support and let them know exactly how they can support you. 

  • Don't give up. Quitting is difficult. Take it one day at a time and try to stay positive.

Call us today at 1-868-662-6993

All information, content, and material on this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment by a qualified physician or healthcare provider. THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING MEDICAL ADVICE. Always consult your doctor regarding any medical questions that you have, as well as before starting or changing your exercise or diet program, and before adjusting any medication.


Please note that while every effort is made to ensure that the information contained on this website is correct and up to date, the Trinidad and Tobago Heart Foundation does not guarantee the reliability, accuracy, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy or suitability of any such information and makes no warranty or representation about the content of this website. The Trinidad and Tobago Heart Foundation therefore assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred by you as a result of any error, omission or misrepresentation in relation to this website. Material on this website is owned by, or licensed to the Trinidad and Tobago Heart Foundation. Material owned by the Trinidad and Tobago Heart Foundation is subject to copyright and our authorisation is required prior to reproduction, storage or transmission of the material. 

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