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Stay Away From Secondhand Smoke

Five hours of breathing someone else's smoke can raise your bad cholesterol levels

BHM Edit Staff | 9/18/2013, 6 a.m.
Avoid secondhand smoke. Thinkstock

Smoking is lethal—for the smoker and those around him. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows that exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in the risk of heart disease. Other studies have found that being around secondhand smoke doubles a non-smokers risk of having a heart attack.

Worse: The damage begins immediately. Just five hours of breathing in secondhand smoke raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which can clog the arteries in your heart, and causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure.

Your best bet is to eliminate this health hazard from your life. Most public places in the United States have taken care of this problem for you. At home, encourage the smoker in your life to quit. Don’t nag, scold or preach, the experts say. Instead, discuss the benefits of quitting and spend time doing healthy activities to keep your loved one’s mind occupied with something other than smoking. Make your home a smoke-free zone and remove ashtrays and lighters.