The stroke risk: Smoking damages cells that line blood vessels, thickens and narrows arteries and encourages the formation of clots.
It also boosts blood pressure, lowers HDL (“good”) cholesterol and raises triglycerides — all of which can make strokes more likely.
Reduce it: Avoid all tobacco smoke — both your own and other people’s.
Exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of stroke by 30%, even among nonsmokers, according to a paper published in the July 2015 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
“If you find it hard to quit smoking for your own sake, do it for the sake of the people around you, especially children,” Dr. Goldstein advises.