Show the Love on Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012

Tired of chocolates? Are flowers all too forgettable?

Give the enduring gift of better heart health by quitting smoking or encouraging a loved one to quit this Valentine’s Day.

In addition to causing cancer and respiratory diseases, smoking is also a leading cause of heart disease.  In fact, about 130,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease every year are attributable to smoking, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  About 26 percent of heart attacks and 12-19 percent of strokes are attributable to smoking, the CDC says.

Secondhand smoke is also bad for heart health.  The Surgeon General has concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke damages blood vessels, makes blood more likely to clot and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The good news is that quitting smoking quickly improves heart health, sharply reducing the risk for heart attack just one year after quitting.

Quit-smoking services and resources can be found online at www.smokefree.gov. For free quit support, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

So quit for good — it’s good for the heart on Valentine’s Day and every day.