Smoking Cessation

Letter to Patient

Dear 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 aortic

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.

  1. Behavioral treatment program.
  2. Nicotine replacement therapy (Gum and Patch)
  3. 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: ____________________________

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  Version 2.0, July 2004
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