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Stent in descending aorta, cholesterol, BP, weight under control. Have habit of smoking cigar without inhaling. Will it block the stent?

I am a 55 yr old male who had a stent put in my decending aorta 3 yrs ago due to 95% blockage. Since then, I have lowered my cholesterol well below required, I have lost weight, I have excercised, and my BP is averaging 114/72. When I golf I like to smoke a cigar WITHOUT INHALING. My wife is furious with me and says that smoking even one cigar WITHOUT INHALING can cause my stent to block up. I may smoke 15 cigars in an entire year WITHOUT INHALING!! Please help, Larry
Asked On : Fri, 29 Jun 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  196
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi Mr. Larry,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you for your good health habits and for maintaining desired cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This is a great achievement. Please keep it up!

Regarding smoking: I understand that smoking must have been your habit for a long time now and hence would be difficult to give up. However, I would want to add here that you can't really smoke without inhaling. If it is giving you some pleasure, certainly part of it is going inside you. Not to mention, the harms of passive smoking for others.

Since you already had 95% blockage once, I would recommend say 'no' to smoking completely despite the low frequency of smoking mentioned by you. Sometimes, the numbers go up in stress or excitement without your knowledge. Where your BP and Chol control are conducive to good health, smoking may nullify some of the positive health effect as it causes coronary artery disease. You may want to try nicotine patch or Champix (tablets designed to help quitting smoking). You can reach out to a licensed practitioner for getting a prescription. More help is available at de-addiction centers.

Regarding your wife's concern, try imagining yourself in her shoes and think of a life without her, then you'll be able to understand her fears and empathize with her.

Lets talk about some facts and statistics: Researches have shown that smoking is one of the major causes of heart disease and statistics show around 20% of deaths in the US are directly related to smoking (reference: Keeping these facts in mind, I would say advice is ours but the choice is yours. Keep well and have a great life!
Answered: Fri, 29 Jun 2012
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