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Healtheuniversity > English > Cardiac College > Treat Heart Disease > Risk Factors > Smoking & Second Hand Smoke

Smoking & Second Hand Smoke

What Are Smoking and Second Hand Smoke?

Both smoking (cigarette, cigar or pipe) and chewing tobacco increase the risk of getting or worsening heart disease.

Second hand smoke can also increase the risk of getting or worsening heart disease.

Second hand smoke can come from two places:

  1. Smoke that comes from the tip of a burning cigarette, cigar or pipe
  2. When a smoker exhales

Desirable level

  • 0 cigarettes per day.
  • No exposure to second hand smoke.

Why Are Smoking (Including Chewing Tobacco) and Second Hand Smoke Risk Factors?

Carbon monoxide and many of the other harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke cause health problems, including damage to the arteries. This damage can cause plaque to build up in the arteries, blocking blood flow. It can also increase the risk of blood clots and reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood. Smoking increases your blood pressure and makes the heart work harder. Learn more about how high blood pressure affects your health ยป

Nicotine is a highly addictive substance found in tobacco products. It leads a smoker to continue to seek these harmful exposures.

Second hand smoke contains the same chemicals and causes the same health effects listed above. There is no safe distance from a burning cigarette.

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