World Heart Day is an annual event with a different theme each year relating to heart health. You hear the media talk about “heart healthy choices” but have you ever considered how your environment may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease? This year’s theme of World Heart Day is creating heart-healthy environments because “the places in which we live, work and play should not increase our risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).”
Most people associate smoking with increased breathing problems, such as emphysema. They never take into account that tobacco use is also damaging to the heart, as well as the lungs, and causing damage to blood vessels that could lead to stroke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home, at work or in places they frequent, can also develop cardiovascular disease in addition to breathing problems by being exposed to smoke.
At this current time, there is no national federal smoking ban in the U.S., and as of January 2, 2014, only “28 states have enacted statewide bans on smoking in all enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants.” Those states with smoking bans have made it healthier for both patrons who frequent the businesses and the employees who work there. Smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing have also become important because it reduces the amount of secondhand smoke to which nonsmokers are exposed, reducing heart attacks in adults and respiratory illnesses in both children and adults.
Creating smokefree policies create healthy environments for everyone involved.
Click HERE to learn how you “can make more heart healthy choices.”