After Heart Attack, Quit Smoking To Increase Quality Of Life

A no-smoking hotel room sign sitting on a wooden desk surface

A new study offers more evidence that quitting smoking after a heart attack is a no-brainer: Researchers found it reduces chest pain and boosts mental health and quality of life.

The study looked at more than 4,000 American adults who were assessed one, six and 12 months after suffering a heart attack. It included patients who were smokers at the time of their heart attack (37 percent), smokers who quit before their heart attack (34 percent) and people who never smoked (29 percent). Forty-six percent of current smokers quit smoking within a year after their heart attacks, the researchers found.

Patients who had never smoked had the best health by the end of the follow-up period. The health of smokers who didn’t quit after their heart attack continued to decline. They were more likely to have chest pain, poorer physical functioning and quality of life, along with worse mental health, the study revealed.

Levels of chest pain and mental health among smokers who quit before their heart attack and of smokers who quit within a year after their heart attack were similar to that of patients who never smoked, the study found.