Heartistry Online Tool“You’ve come a long way baby” was a catchy phrase coined during the 1960’s to lure women into the smoking habit. Unfortunately, “you’re going the wrong way baby” might be a better phrase for today’s smoking female. Approximately 18.1% of American women smoke with the largest percentage (21.4%) between the ages of 25 and 44 years. It is the single most preventable risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), increasing a woman’s risk by a factor of 2.

For the past 20 years smoking has been identified as a major independent cause of CHD in women. Risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked daily, the total number of years spent smoking, the degree of inhalation, and if smoking started at an early age. Smoking also acts together with other risk factors, particularly elevated cholesterol and hypertension, to greatly increase a woman’s risk of developing CHD. Each year more than 500,000 women in the United States have a heart attack and approximately one-half die. Approximately half of these untimely deaths are smoking related.

Fortunately quitting can immediately lower your risk of developing CHD, having a heart attack and dying prematurely. Several options are available and we are here to support your decision to quit. The benefits of quitting apply to all women regardless of age, number of years spent smoking, degree of inhalation or if smoking started at a young age. Even women with diagnosed CHD can benefit from quitting. The first step is up to you, the time is now, commit to quit and “go the right way baby.”

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