Ask Dr. Peters: Change that smoking heart into a healthy one

Dr. Justus PetersBy Justus Peters, M.D.

If there was one thing you could change to prolong your life, your quality of living, and benefit daily from, would you do it?

I tell smokers to quit every day in my clinic. I tell them to watch the Allen Carr YouTube video on how he quit smoking and how he learned to rationalize against smoking.

Cigarette smoking is a main preventable cause of premature death in the developed world —440,000 deaths occur every year in the U.S.

Here are six things that happen when you smoke that can lead up to a heart attack:

  1. Your vessels all over the body constrict.
  2. Your blood pressure rises.
  3. Plaque builds up in the vessels.
  4. Hardening of the vessel walls occur.
  5. Thrombosis can occur (blood clot in vessel).
  6. Heart attack.

Here are six reasons to quit today:

  1. Reduces risk of heart attack or any heart related condition by 50%
  2. Reduces risk of Thrombosis
  3. Reduces chances of developing several types of cancer.
  4. Improves stamina
  5. Improves senses of taste and smell.

It is the most difficult thing to quit. I know that. Wellbutrin and Chantix help your chances by 40 percent, and nicotine gum, and patches can help.  But the first thing you have to do is make up your own mind you want to quit.

After that, it can be a journey for your body and soul—mostly for the better.

Please e-mail any questions or concerns to me at

 Dr. Justus Turner Peters, a family physician at Glen Rose Medical Center’s Pecan Plantation clinic, received his medical school training at Creighton University School of Medicine in Nebraska and completed his family medicine residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Peters’ practice encompasses the care of infants and children as well as adults of all ages. He also conducts ongoing research in the areas of childhood obesity and lower extremity injuries. He serves as the county’s Local Health Authority.

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