The Effects of Smoking on the Cardiovascular System

Topics: Myocardial infarction, Blood, Nicotine Pages: 3 (1231 words) Published: May 23, 2006
I am doing my cardiovascular patient education project on the cardiovascular effects of smoking. I decided that before I could properly and honestly educate a patient on the cardiovascular effects of smoking, that I should examine my own smoking habit and educate myself. I have been a smoker on and off for a large portion of my life. It all started when I was about 11 and one of my friends "liberated" some cigarettes from one of his parents. A small group of us went into the wooded area behind where I grew up and proceeded to try cigarettes for the first time. The cigarettes made us dizzy and nauseous, but boy did we think we were cool! Luckily, cigarettes were not always readily available, so my smoking in my pre-teen years was extremely limited. However, sadly, when I was 12 my father passed away from colorectal cancer. My Mom and I lived alone for about a year after my father's death and then she met and started dating the man that would become my stepfather, who was a smoker. He has since that time, thankfully, quit smoking after having triple bypass open-heart surgery. My stepfather also had children who were older than me. One of my stepbrothers was 17 and a smoker. I was 13 by this time and fully embracing teenage rebellion and still trying to deal with my fathers passing. Cigarettes were a perfect outlet for my teen angst and my older stepbrother was more than happy to purchase cigarettes for me. So that's where a large portion of my allowance and money earned from odd jobs around the neighborhood went. Still though at this point I was not yet a regular smoker. Smoking was still limited to when I wanted to look cool, like when I was hanging out with my friends and my brother. Also around this same time I started playing the guitar and a large portion of the guitar players that I saw on MTV and in music magazines were smokers. Most of the musicians that I looked up to were smokers, as well as lots of the actors in the movies at the time. In...
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