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JAMA Patient Page
May 7, 2008

Smoking and the Heart

JAMA. 2008;299(17):2112. doi:10.1001/jama.299.17.2112

Most people know that smoking is bad for your lungs and can cause cancer. However, fewer may be aware of the effects of smoking on the heart and the circulatory system—the arteries and veins that carry the blood throughout the body. The May 7, 2008, issue of JAMA includes an article reporting that quitting greatly reduces the excess death rates due to smoking in women. This Patient Page is based on one published in the July 2, 2003, issue of JAMA.

Cigarette smoking is the main preventable cause of premature death in the developed world. It accounts for nearly 440 000 deaths every year in the United States.