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RightHealth, a medical and health-related resource that provides a comprehensive collection of content, videos, photos, community commentary and more, has today launched a brand new feature on their DailyDose blog. Starting today and following on every Monday, Dr. Steven Chang will be answering questions from the community in his “Ask the Doctor” column.  All you have to do is submit your question to dailydose@righthealth.com.

The first question from reader Mark is shown below.  Who needs Dr. Oz or your The Doctors when we have Dr. Chang in the house!

QThe cardiologist who recently examined President Obama, an admitted occasional smoker, told the Commander in Chief that although he received a clean bill of health, he’s still at risk for heart disease because he is a smoker in a high-stress job. Does smoking less frequently or just occasionally reduce the health risks for smokers?

ASmoking accounts for over 400 thousand deaths annually in the United States, mostly in the form of lung cancer, stroke, and coronary heart disease. In fact, smoking increases every kind of cancer risk with 80% of lung cancers linked to smoking. It doesn’t matter if you smoke only one cigarette a day or one pack a day. The act of smoking will increase your risk of these diseases. We also know there is a clear link between second hand smoke and cardiovascular disease. Approximately 23 to 70 thousand premature deaths occur each year in the U.S. because of second hand smoke.

Does smoking less reduce health risks? The answer is yes. If you smoke three packs a day as opposed to one pack a day, you do have more of a risk for heart disease.  But it’s not until you quit smoking do you see some amazing results. Here’s what we know:

  • At 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure decreases and the body temperature of your hands and feet increase, due to improved circulation.
  • At 24 hours you begin to see a decrease in heart attack risk.
  • At 48 hours your senses of smell and taste improve and nerve endings actually begin to regrow!
  • After 1 year your risk of coronary heart disease drops by 50%.
  • After 5-15 years your stroke risk drops by 50%.
  • After 10 years your risk of lung cancer drops by 50%.
  • After 15 years your risk of coronary heart disease and death rate returns to the same level as those who never smoked.

Posted via web from Consort Partners