Letter to Patient
Smoking has been identified as one of your cardiac risk factors. Your
signature at the bottom of this letter will indicate that you have been
informed of the adverse (bad) effects of smoking on your health.
Smoking is the largest preventable cause of ischaemic heart disease (IHD)
and coronary artery disease. Each year more than sixteen thousand cardiovascular
deaths, many of which are premature, occur in Canada as a result of smoking.
Adverse health effects of smoking:
- Smoking raises your blood pressure contributing to hypertension
- Smoking changes the balance of cholesterol in your body to increase
the risk of hardening of the arteries. The good cholesterol (HDL) levels
fall in association with smoking.
- Smoking results in carbon monoxide build up in the blood and reduced
oxygen delivery to the tissues.
- Smoking increases the thickness of the blood and the tendency of the
blood to clot thus
increasing the risk of heart attack.
- Your risk of sudden death is significantly increased by smoking.
- Smoking may be associated with 50 to 55% of all strokes occurring
in the United States
and the stroke risk of a smoker is 1.5 to 3 times that of a non-smoker.
This risk is
particularly high in women smokers using oral contraceptives.
- Smoking is associated with peripheral vascular disease and impaired
circulation to the
extremities. As well smoking may contribute to the development of abdominal
Non-Cardiac Adverse Effects of Smoking:
- Smoking contributes to the development of chronic lung disease, emphysema
and chronic bronchitis.
- The association of smoking and lung cancer is well documented.
Now that you are aware of the adverse effects of smoking, you can realize
the importance of doing everything in your power to quit. I realize this
is a difficult process. There are a variety of approaches to be taken.
- Behavioral treatment program.
- Nicotine replacement therapy (Gum and Patch)
- Other medications - certain anti-hypertensives such as Clonidine and
anti-depressants such as Bupropion and Fluoxetine.
If you are seriously considering smoking cessation I would ask you to
discuss methods with either your cardiologist or family physician who
is in the best position to refer you to the proper resources.
Many thanks for reading this letter and for signing below:
Signature: ___________________________ Witness: ____________________________