How does smoking affect the cardiovascular system?
Smoking causes immediate and long-term increases in blood pressure and heart rate. Furthermore, smoking can . . .
- reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the body's tissues
- damage blood vessels
- allow cholesterol to build up
- is a major risk factor for heart disease. Smoking increases risk of atherosclerosis (build up of fatty blockages in the arteries), heart attack and stroke.
What are the risks of secondhand smoke?
The American Heart Association estimates that approximately 38,000 people die each year from heart and blood vessel diseases caused by secondhand smoke; children and infants exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to experience ear infections and asthma, and are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Are there symptoms of exposure to secondhand smoke?
Every child experiences symptoms differently, but common symptoms include:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
- Excessive phlegm
- Chest discomfort from lung irritation
- Chest pain, which may indicate heart disease