Quitting Smoking and Your Heart

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There is a definite connection between smoking and heart health.  But there has also been a lot of talk over the years that drugs meant to help you quit smoking are also bad for your heart.  One Geisinger doctor says a new round of studies says that's not exactly true.

No need to rehash the dangers of smoking.  It's linked to a host of problems, including lung and airway issues, heart disease, stroke and cancer.  In fact, "stop smoking" is the first thing Dr. Gopi Dandamudi tells his patients.

"It's one of the strongest predictors of cardiovascular events in a given individual, if they have a heavy history of smoking," said Dr. Dandamudi.

He's an electrophysiologist- an arrythmia doctor- at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre.  He admits trying to quit smoking on your own is very difficult.

"There are other therapies such as smoking supplement like nicotine patches and nicotine gum, and also drugs that act from a psycological standpoint," Dr. Damdamudi pointed out.

Examples of those would anti-depressants, or drugs like Chantix, which act on neurotransmitters in the brain to alter behavior.  Dr. Dandamudi has heard about trials in the past that found that anti-smoking drugs aren't good for your heart.  But he says he has seen recent evidence suggesting that's not true, that the benefits of not smoking far outweigh the risks.

"The most recent trial, probably the largest meta-analysis trial, compares a lot of different trials.  They've suggested that there are no greater chance of cardiovascular events long-term, or even short term."

As always, if you have questions about your heart health or smoking cessation, it's always best to ask your own doctor.  There are lots of programs out there to help you if you're ready to take the step.

1 Comment

  • Dr Maslow

    A form of resveratrol, an extract from the red wine grape, called Transmax was shown to protect smokers against many of the more serious lung and heart damage. A recently published double blind human clinical trial at the University of Torino Medical School confirmed earlier animal studies which concluded that transmax protects against lung inflammation, solid tumor cancers, oxidative damage, and many of the other types of lung damage and immune deficiencies caused by prolonged tobacco use. A patent was awarded for the use of Resveratrol against COPD, a lung disorder that affects almost all smokers, as well as many industrial workers. So, you can do nothing and die of your habit or use your head and protect yourself. 

Transmax is already well known for its anti-diabetes and cardiovascular benefits. This new human trial should be at least some good news for long time smokers, but unless they are a scientist they will not find it on CNN or MSNBC. When this study was released the scientific and medical press covered it extensively, but NO mainstream media picked it up. There is simply too much money in tobacco to worry about the health and life span of smokers, including the kids who are taking it up, and whom it will kill.

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