Benefits of smoking cessation

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Smoking cessation significantly improves cardiovascular health. According to the World Health Organization, within 1 year of quitting the risk of CHD decreases by 50%, and within 15 years (and often less) the relative risk of dying of CHD for an ex-smoker approaches that of a long-time nonsmoker (8,52). Therefore, smoking cessation is more beneficial in reducing mortality in the aggregate of smokers with coronary artery disease than medical therapy, (3-blockers with bypass surgery, or coronary angioplasty (53,54).

Short of revascularization, cessation of smoking is the single most important factor in the management of patients with intermittent claudication (55). In fact, in up to 85% of patients, walking distance can increase as much as 200 to 300% (56,57). Detection and treatment of hypertension and control of risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as smoking, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia offer substantial stroke prevention benefits as well.

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