ZocdocAnswersDoes not smoking help stroke prevention?

Question

Does not smoking help stroke prevention?

I quit smoking after my father had a stroke. If I stop smoking permanently, can I avoid getting a stroke as well.

Answer

A stroke is a very dramatic event that can drastically affect one's life and the lives of his/her family. As such, preventing strokes is a major goal for patient's and the health care community. In general, smoking is bad for numerous aspects of your health. I congratulate you on quitting smoking. To answer your question -- YES -- smoking drastically increases your risk of stroke. A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident, occurs when not enough blood supply gets to the brain cells and therefore the brain cells die. The most common cause of decreased blood supply is a blockage in the blood vessel. Smoking is a major cause of blocking blood vessels -- as it causes inflammation in the blood vessels. Therefore smoking increases the risk of stroke. Smoking also blocks blood vessels feeding the heart -- which causes heart attacks. Smoking does many other bad things -- so stopping to smoke is very, very important. Cancers, lung disease and oral decay are just some of the things that smoke can cause. There are other things you can do to avoid (or decrease your chance) of getting a stroke). Low cholesterol, a healthy weight, regular exercise and yearly health check up can all prevent this problem. Please talk to your doctor for more information.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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