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Cardiologists Say Smoking Is the Worst Thing for Your Heart

By Carlo Falco
Published On: Feb 18 2013 10:00:13 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

February is National Heart Health Month and cardiologists said one of the worst thing you can do for your heart is to start smoking. If you are a smoker right now, experts say the best thing you can do is to quit as soon as possible.

Tobacco-related illnesses kill 1,200 people every day.

Smoking destroys the lining of blood vessles, causing blood clots and makes it harder for your heart to pump blood around your body.  It also increases your chances of heart attacks and strokes.

There is hope out there.  If a smoker quits smoking, after one year, his or her risk of having a heart attack is cut in half.  And after two to three years cigarette-free, a smoker's heart will look like someone who has never smoked.

If that’s not enough to cause someone to quit smoking, it also affects children.  Children of smokers are 50% more likely to start smoking than children of non-smokers.

In addition, second hand smoke is just as bad as cigarette smoke.  It contains just as many carcinogens as smoke straight from the cigarette.