Local Advocates, New Ad Encourages Quitting Tobacco for Better Heart Health

CDC PR Photo - Brian 2.9.16February is American Heart Month, an annual event to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and promote better heart health.

Cardiovascular disease claims 800,000 U.S. lives annually, and covers a host of disorders of the heart and blood vessels that occur when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. From there, blood clots can form and lead to heart attack or stroke.

A new ad in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Successful Tips from Former Smokers Campaign is helping to raise awareness of the link the between smoking and CVD. The ad features Brian, an Air Force veteran who suffered from heart failure due to smoking and needed a heart transplant as a result. The powerful ad, part of a series of four, will air between now and June.

“Hearing a personal testimony is moving and can have a positive impact on many people” said Judy Sargent of the Northwoods Tobacco Free Coalition. “We are thankful for Brian’s service to our country. We appreciate him sharing his story about the health challenges he has experienced due to smoking and his message to all of us to not smoke and to those who do smoke to QUIT!”

Smoking causes one of every three CVD deaths. Individuals can reduce their CVD risk by quitting tobacco use or never starting in the first place. Quitting tobacco can improve blood pressure and increase LDL (good) cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn, decreases risk of heart disease and stroke.

The coalition also shared other things individuals can do to improve their heart health, including getting 30 minutes of exercise on most days, eating more fruits and vegetables, reducing sodium intake, and getting their blood pressure and cholesterol checked by their physician.

Brian’s ad can be viewed at http://youtube.com/watch?v=WFPbXxU8Gwc. For more on local tobacco prevention efforts, find the Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition on Facebook. Tobacco users can receive free help by calling the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT NOW.

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