Be Good To Your Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in South Africa. As much as eating a healthy diet is a cornerstone of treating and preventing heart disease, trends such as vaping and smoking hookah (hubbly bubbly) also pose a health risk to your heart.

Studies supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), say that long-term use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or vaping products can significantly impair the function of the body’s blood vessels, increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease.

E-cigarettes were introduced to the South African market almost 10 years ago and have become popular amongst teens. Studies have shown that they are also just as addictive as cigarettes and have their own health risks including inhaling toxic metals like lead, becoming addicted to nicotine and worrisome changes in blood pressure, heart rate and
blood vessel tone.

It also appears that vapes trigger similar kinds of inflammatory responses in the lungs as cigarettes do and this potentially doubles one’s risk of a heart attack. Another trendy form of smoking, which is associated with being “less harmful” than cigarettes, is water pipes popularly known as hubbly bubbly or hookah.

According to the CANSA association smoking hubbly can cause permanent lung damage, especially among young people, whose lungs are still developing. The smoke that emerges from a water pipe contains several toxins known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and other diseases. In addition, the charcoal burned in the pipes often produces its own toxins, including high levels of carbon monoxide and cancer-causing chemicals.

Take the necessary steps today to lower your risk of heart disease.

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