Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Smoking: Heart Attack and Stroke Risks
If you smoke, your chance of dying from a
heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater than that of a
person who does not smoke. About 1 out of 4 heart attacks is believed to
be directly related to smoking. Smoking is a much more important risk factor
for a heart attack than
high blood pressure, or
stress. Exercise and a good diet cannot erase the
risks to your heart caused by smoking.
Smoking even a few
cigarettes a day (1 to 4) increases your risk of
coronary artery disease. If a person who smokes has a heart attack, his or her risk of
sudden death is twice as great as the risk of a person who does not
After you quit:
How soon you quit matters. People who quit smoking before age 50 reduce by half their
risk of dying in the next 15 years compared with continuing smokers.footnote 2 But if you quit smoking before age 35, almost all of the risks from smoking can be reversed.
If you already have coronary artery disease,
your risk of a second heart attack and possible sudden death decreases when you
A person who smokes is twice as likely to die from
stroke as a person who does not smoke. After you quit, your risk of stroke slowly goes down over time.
National Guideline Clearinghouse (2001, revised 2013). Guideline synthesis: Treatment of tobacco dependence. Available online: http://www.guideline.gov/syntheses/synthesis.aspx?id=43817.
American Cancer Society (2013). Guide to quitting smoking. Available online: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
Current as ofAugust 21, 2015
Current as of:
August 21, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & John Hughes, MD - Psychiatry
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
I want to...
1111 Duff Avenue Ames, Iowa 50010
515-239-2011 Email us
Anywhere in Iowa 800-524-6877