The School of Medicine found in a recent study that there were immediate benefits for smokers who quit after having a heart attack.
Contrary to popular belief, health can be regained after experiencing heart trauma. Research discovered that patients who quit smoking immediately after their heart attack had health similar to those who had never smoked. Not only was their physical health comparable to non-smokers, there was improvement in their general mental health as well.
Dr. Donna Buchanan, associate professor in the School of Medicine, led the study.
“This information may offer current smokers increased motivation to quit smoking,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan’s hope is that current smokers don’t believe that it is too late to quit. UMKC’s research discovered that out of 27% of the active smokers observed, almost half of them quit smoking after their first heart attack and went on to live healthy lives. Buchanan also found that people care more about quality of health over longevity.
With UMKC becoming a smoke-free campus last August, students are encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle before the risk of a heart attack occurs.
Sandra Beaty, spokesperson for the UMKC smoke-free initiative, believes that the “results of a student-led initiative indicated that a significant majority of employees and students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City value smoke- and tobacco-free campuses.”
“UMKC will join more than 500 U.S. colleges and universities with smoke-free or tobacco-free policies,” Beaty said.
Sophomore Royce Handy shared his opinion about the smoke-free initiative.
“I love having a smoke free campus, mostly because I hate the diseases it causes,” Handy said. “I have asthma and it smells so much better on campus without the smoke. Our society is passing more laws and rules against smoking and I love it!”