Although having a heart attack represents a good incentive to quit smoking, many patients do not manage to do so. A survey conducted in Rotterdam shows that half of the patients who have cardiovascular disease do not quit smoking but continue to smoke after their event.

It seems as if people are not aware of the risk. Many of the patients feel that the damage has already been done and that there is no pint in quitting now.

However, the truth is quite opposite. Smoking, along with high blood pressure, raises cholesterol and being overweight or obese, is a leading risk factor for heart disease. If patients continue to smoke after a heart attack they have a higher risk of dying from another attack in the next 10 years.

What patients should know is that if they stop smoking after a cardiovascular event the chance of having a fatal event within 10 years would be on the same level as patients who did not smoke.