Texas Heart Institute joins ‘Houston Boots Smoking’
In an effort to reduce smoking rates in the Houston metro area, Texas Heart Institute (THI) is participating in “Houston Boots Smoking,” a citywide awareness campaign running the week of September 21st, 2015. The campaign is a joint partnership between health centers, non-profit and for-profit corporations, community agencies, local government and other partners, all committed to promoting a smoke-free environment for everyone and assisting Houstonians in quitting smoking.
Dr. James T. Willerson, President of Texas Heart Institute, says the organization is proud to be a part of this campaign, given the direct correlation between smoking and cardiovascular health. “Smoking markedly increases one’s risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as lung cancer and very debilitating chronic lung disease, to a point where one cannot get adequate breath, not even enough to be able to do simple things like walking. No one should smoke!! ”
The facts regarding smoking are sobering:
• The effects of cigarette smoking account for about 480,000 deaths each year in the United States – nearly 1 out of 5 deaths.
• Smoking increases heart rate, tightens major arteries, and can cause an irregular heartbeat.
• More than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking in the past 50 years since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking in 1964. 2.5 million people out of that 20 million did not even smoke and were instead exposed to second-hand smoke.
Texas Heart Institute is a nonprofit organized founded by Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962 and leads the world in new knowledge and discoveries about the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease, the #1 cause of death in the United States. Members of the Institute’s 180-member staff have performed more than 118,800 open-heart operations, 258,000 cardiac catheterizations and 1,270 heart transplants—experience no other facility can match.
According to these doctors, heavy smokers have a chance to bring their cardiovascular system back to normal when they quit: after just one year of not smoking, the excess risk of heart disease created by smoking is reduced 80%. “It is important to remember the health of your lungs and heart are intimately connected, so even one cigarette a day is bad,” explains cardiologist Dr. Roberta Bogaev, Director of THI’s Advanced Heart Failure Outreach Program. “You need to stop smoking completely for immediate as well as long-term benefits for you and your loved ones.”
For more information about the effects of smoking, visit www.texasheart.org. Use #HoustonBootsSmoking to share your quit story on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and to find more information about the week’s events.