Cardiovascular risks associated with smoking: a review for clinicians

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The cardiovascular consequences of cigarette smoking may not be as readily recognized as the adverse respiratory consequences. Smoking results in sudden death, myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, worsened outcomes after angioplasty or bypass surgery, cerebrovascular disease, aortic aneurysm, peripheral vascular disease, increased risk of complications of hypertension and impotence. Physicians should encourage and help all their smoking patients to quit. Pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation is one of the most cost-effective healthcare interventions and should be offered to all dependent smokers. Both nicotine replacement and bupropion have been shown to be well tolerated in populations with cardiovascular disease.

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