By Nancy Burmeister

Special to the Herald Review

Tobacco. If you looked at that word and said “No way!” you are on the right track. If you thought that smoking, and/or any form of smokeless tobacco was OK, I will just give you a quote from American heart Association’s book, “The Guide to Preventing and Treating Heart Disease:”

“If you smoke, you are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than a nonsmoker is — in addition to the risk of lung cancer. Smoking increases your heart rate, constricts your arteries and contributes to their obstruction with plaque, and can cause irregular heartbeat. It also increases your risk of blood clots, which cause heart attack or stroke. Even exposure to other people’s smoke increases a person’s risk of heart disease.”

The book goes on to state that smokeless tobacco products are no better. The new electronic cigarettes still contain numerous chemicals along with nicotine. They have not been in use long enough for us to know the outcome of their usage.

It is obvious that quitting is difficult for those who have become addicted to this expensive and dangerous habit. However, it also is obvious that kicking the habit will offer better health for those who do.

How about chewing gum, your fingernails or a pencil? Be creative and find a way to toss the tobacco habit.

Take care of your heart. You cannot live without it!