Reducing the Harm Caused By Smoking

By: Bel Marra Health | Heart Disease | Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 01:00 AM

cardiovascular disorders due to smokingTobacco use causes more deaths per year then the deaths caused by illegal drug use, alcohol use, HIV, motor vehicle accidents, suicides and murders combined!  Cigarettes not only reduce your vitality and increase your risk for cancer; they also vastly increase your risk for cardiovascular disorders. In fact, an estimated 128,497 people die per year due to cardiovascular disorders brought on by smoking.

Why Current Anti-Smoking Tactics Don’t Work

Although smokers are aware of the dangers, scare tactics such as citing scary facts, rarely work when it comes to helping them quit.  In fact, one study cited in the New York Times, found that warning labels on cigarette packs actually encouraged smoking by stimulating the nucleus accumbens, which is the part of the brain responsible for cravings.

Given the dangers associated with smoking and the difficulties inherent in quitting, if you are a smoker it makes sense to reduce the associated health risks as much as possible and a new study presented at the World Congress of Cardiology (April 20, 2012) has found that it is possible to reduce harm caused by smoking.

Incorporating More Omega-3 for Good Cardiovascular Health

There are 3 types of Omega’s, ALA – alpha-linolenic acid, DHA – docosahexaenoic acid and EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid, and it is said that all could have some benefit in supporting good cardiovascular health. Good cardiovascular health can be the first step in the battle with cigarettes. And really, for anyone, with harm reduction in mind.

There are 3 types of omega’s and they all show great promise in not only good cardiovascular health, but your overall health. And we know both are very important when it comes to trying to reduce harm from smoking.

ALA is called an essential fat because the body cannot make it, so it must be provided in your diet. Many scientists think ALA may have some heart health benefits. Some good sources of ALA include    flaxseeds, hemp products, canola oil and soy products.

DHA and EPA have many health benefits and functions, including reducing the risk of heart disease.   Sources include salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring.

It should be noted that although omega-3 fatty acids are good for supporting cardiovascular health during the stop smoking battle, you need to take other steps as well. According to chief science officer Dr. Kathryn Taubert, from the World Health Federation “The only way to protect your body from the harmful effects of tobacco is to stop smoking.”

Unfortunately, as established earlier, quitting isn’t always an easy endeavor, so maintaining a healthy diet, and proper supplementation is the very least you can do to try and reduce the harmful effects.

Related Reading: 10 Best tips to quit smoking

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