Over the past several decades there has been a mounting mass of evidence indicting cigarette smoking as one of the major causes of premature cardiovascular disease. It is now well linked, and anyone who chooses to believe the contrary, and says, “It’s still unproved,” is really kidding themselves. Doctors have no doubt about it, and every medical journal that comes off the press usually has fresh evidence backing up this belief.
In the past decade the proof has become even more startling. Now, in most Western countries, the reduction in smoking by doctors has been marked. Today very few doctors smoke – a major change from past trends. The figure will reduce, as many younger doctors never start the habit, purely fir medical reasons.
Reports from all parts of the world are in agreement, linking mortality from heart disease to smoking. There are numerous sets of figures quoted. One simple statement will suffice: “Studies have shown that men aged 40 – 50 years who smoke 20 – 40 cigarettes a day have a three-to-five times higher risk of dying from heart disease than nonsmokers.” Anyone desiring more complete documentation on this important subject should consult the books written in Britain by the Royal College of Physicians, or the American books published by the Surgeon-General. Each contains convincing evidence, and each is a document that has received worldwide acceptance.
It is believed that the key role of cigarette smoking on the heart is the increased level of the drug nicotine. This can produce heart irregularities, and can also release potent chemicals called catecholamines into the system
The key point here is: If you want to stay alive and healthy, don’t smoke. Reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked each day can help, but total abstinence long-term is easier and safer.