What is atrial fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation? Our expert Dr. Ted Wright explains.

In honor of Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, we sat down with the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute’s Dr. Ted Wright to discuss the condition, how it’s treated and what you can do if you have it.

Watch our conversation with Dr. Wright below.

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is a type of irregular heartbeat. If left untreated, it can increase a person’s risk for stroke and heart failure.

Dr. Ted Wright

Dr. Ted Wright

Dr. Wright is a heart surgeon at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute. He is UK’s leading expert in atrial fibrillation treatment and is the only doctor in the region performing the Mini-MAZE procedure, a surgical treatment for people with the condition.


Check out the first video in our interview series below where Dr. Wright explains what AFib is and how it’s diagnosed. Be on the lookout for more highlights from our conversation with Dr. Wright in the coming days.


Next steps:

  • The UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute is a leader in diagnosing and treating abnormal heart rhythms, including AFib. Learn more about Gill’s Heart Rhythm Program.
  • Check out our Q&A with Dr. Wright about heart disease and African-Americans.
Jim Lester was in end-stage heart failure, but a doctor from the same hometown helped him to trust in a heart procedure that eventually saved his life.

Hometown connection leads to life-saving heart procedure

Jim Lester encourages others to listen to his heart. As you adjust the stethoscope’s earpieces and lean in, you hear an electronic whir and zing reminiscent of a video game. The sound that startles others makes Lester laugh. Apparently this is not the first time he’s unleashed this parlor trick.

Just two weeks prior, Lester was gravely ill, in end-stage heart failure, the result of a lifetime of repeated heart attacks (three), blood clots (four) and a stroke. His ejection fraction – a measure of the heart’s ability to pump blood – was less than 20 percent. A healthy person’s EF sits in the 50 to 70 percent range.

Lester remembers the conversation with Alexis Shafii, his physician at the Gill Heart Institute. “Dr. Shafii was straight to the point,” Lester remembers. “He said that I had to have an LVAD in order to survive.”

A left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, is a mechanical device that helps a weakened heart pump blood. “An LVAD doesn’t replace the heart,” said Dr. Maya Guglin, medical director of Mechanical Circulatory Support at the UK Gill Heart Institute. “It just helps it do its job.” However, Guglin was cautious. Implanting an LVAD requires open heart surgery and a lifetime of maintenance. It’s not a good fit for every patient.

A common connection

Lester was afraid of surgery. He kept asking whether there were any pills that could help him instead of this strange-looking machine. Then he met Sarah Branam, one of the three LVAD coordinators at the Gill.

“The team asked me to do some education with Jim, since he was very standoffish about the idea of having an LVAD,” Branam said. “I started discussing with him what his fears were with the LVAD, I just wanted to help relieve his concerns. And I always say, ‘Where are you from?’ and when he said, ‘Maysville, Kentucky,’ I was like, ‘Well, funny thing, so am I!'”

They bonded instantly. Lester knew Branam’s “Papaw,” Clarence Branam, and then knew he could trust Sarah. She understood Lester’s fear of the unknown, but she could also share her experiences with many patients with LVADs.

“I got to see patients go from being in the ICU, and being as sick as they are, to see them with quality of life: the stamina, no oxygen tank, being able to walk farther, getting back to what they wanted to do… it was just amazing,” Branam explained.

“I was awful scared, but after talking to Sarah and finding out she comes from Maysville, why, everything leveled out,” Lester said tearfully. “This little thing came in, and she would answer any questions I had, and took all my fears away.”

Even better: Lester qualified for a clinical trial to implant a new version of an LVAD called HeartMate 3.

The power of advanced medicine through clinical trials

According to Guglin, the HeartMate 3 is a tremendous improvement from its predecessor with a longer battery life, smaller profile and engineering that minimizes the potential for complications like blood clots and GI bleeds.

“That the Gill was included in this major clinical trial was a coup for us,” Guglin said. “It’s a signal that the cardiology world recognizes our expertise, our professionalism and our teamwork.”

And, Guglin adds, this also helps fulfill the heart institute’s academic mission, since high-profile trials like that for the HeartMate 3 expose Gill trainees to the newest available technology – technology that could become standard treatment by the time they are in their own practice.

On Aug. 8, Lester was implanted with the HeartMate 3. Everyone noticed immediately how improved he was.

“The biggest thing I saw about Jim before the surgery was how hard he was struggling to breathe. And the day after the breathing tube was pulled out, he did not need supplemental oxygen,” Branam said.

“It felt like I was getting too much oxygen,” Lester laughs.

A new lease on life

After a couple of weeks of recovery and therapy, Lester was discharged. What will he do with this new lease on life?

“Well, I aim to go home, sit on my front porch, watch the traffic go up and down the street, and hug my wife,” Lester said.

Lester was the Gill’s first HeartMate 3 patient, but three others followed within 10 days. This phase of the trial is now closed, but the UK will be involved in the next phase, a “Continued Access Protocol” that permits all qualifying patients to receive the HeartMate 3 while FDA approval is pending.

Based on her initial involvement with the HeartMate 3 trial, Guglin has great hopes for the device.

“It’s an amazing feeling when you come to see the patient next morning after the surgery and their skin color is different and there is life in them,” she said. “And when they are being discharged 10 days or two weeks later it’s gratifying to see how much they improved on your watch because of the intervention you were able to offer.”


Next Steps

Sleep apnea occurs in about 18 million Americans, or about one in 15 people. If untreated, sleep apnea can lead to numerous problems, like hypertension.

If sleep apnea is disrupting your sleep, talk to your doctor

Written by Dr. Isabel Moreno-Hay, an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry’s Orofacial Pain Clinic.

Dr. Isabel Moreno-Hay is an assistant professor in the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry’s Orofacial Pain Clinic.

Dr. Isabel Moreno-Hay

Unbearable snoring is often the reason sleep apnea is diagnosed. Sleep apnea occurs in about 18 million Americans, or about one in 15 people. The two types of this disorder are central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea is less common and is often associated with other conditions, like stroke. It occurs when the brain does not tell the muscles to breathe. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common, and it is caused by a repetitive (partial or complete) airway collapse which prevents air from reaching the lungs.

Sleep apnea can have negative consequences if it goes undiagnosed and untreated. It can cause chronic tiredness, which can lead to memory problems and trouble concentrating. Cardiovascular problems can also occur – the most common issue caused by sleep apnea is actually hypertension. Often times when a patient is not responding to medication for hypertension, it may be due to the disorder being undiagnosed. Additionally, the regulation of glucose levels can be negatively affected by lack of sleep, as this problem increases the risk of diabetes.

Who is most at-risk for sleep apnea?

A high Body Mass Index is the number one indicator: the higher the BMI, the greater the risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Having a large neck circumference is another indicator. Men are also at higher risk than women, except until women experience menopause, and their risk increases. Smokers are at increased risk, too. A large uvula and long soft palate, big tongue, deviated septum and enlarged tonsils can also cause the disorder.

Treatmenat options

In the 1950s, sleep behaviors started being studied and became part of medical care. In the 1970s, sleep clinics were developed so people could be monitored and diagnosed with sleep disorders. Today, sleep physicians are able to diagnose the disorder and decide on a course of treatment, which can sometimes include referral to a dentist.

The most common treatment option is a CPAP machine, a mask that patients wear to help keep the airway open with steady airflow. In other instances, oral appliances can be used to move the lower jaw forward to improve airflow. Sometimes the cause of the sleep apnea is enlarged tonsils, and one may have their tonsils surgically removed.

Additionally, behavioral modifications should accompany treatment options. For example, if a patient with sleep apnea is overweight, losing weight may help improve their condition. Quitting smoking or changing sleeping positions can also help.

Sleep is an incredibly important part of living a healthy life, and anything that gets in the way of a sound night of sleep needs to be addressed and remedied. Talk with your doctor if you think you are suffering from sleep apnea.


Next Steps

Philip A. Kern, MD, talks with Angelique Bell, who participated in a diabetes-related study he led.

Research participation leads to a life-saving personal discovery

On the first of May, 2015, Angelique Bell waited in a hair salon, reading the weekend section of the newspaper. She noticed an ad for a health research study that needed participants who had risk factors for diabetes. Since she met the criteria and had some time to pass, she decided to call about the study right then, from the salon chair. It was her 45th birthday.

“I don’t have diabetes, but I have a strong family history of diabetes and some of the risk factors, and I thought that the information from this study could be something that could benefit me in the future,” Bell said.

She didn’t expect, however, that her impromptu birthday decision to call about the study would potentially save her life.

An unexpected finding

As part of the screening for the study, Bell had to do blood work and an EKG — standard tests to get baseline health data. Her results, however, were anything but standard: they showed extremely low levels of potassium and an arrhythmia in her heart that could be fatal if not treated.

“When she came in, she was having a lot premature ventricular contractions, which is potentially dangerous because your heart could suddenly go into ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, which can kill you,” said Dr. Philip A. Kern, director of the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science and principal investigator of the diabetes study in which Bell participated.

At the time Bell was taking two medications to help control her blood pressure. One medication was a diuretic, which, unknown to Bell, was causing her to lose too much potassium through her urine. The resulting potassium deficiency was causing the arrhythmia in her heart.

Kern and the research team sent Bell to the UK Gill Heart Institute for further evaluation and treatment. She was taken off the diuretic, had to wear a heart monitor for 48 hours, and received potassium supplements.

“I was 45 years old at the time and I had to wear this heart monitor. Three-fourths of my grandparents had heart attacks. My mother had congestive heart failure. So it was a scary,” Bell said. “I was relieved to find out that the condition had not gotten to a point of causing damage. A really serious problem was averted.”

The importance of participation

Once the arrhythmia was resolved, Bell, undeterred by her own health scare, went back to Kern and participated in the diabetes-related study that she had originally phoned about.

The study was not Bell’s first experience as a research participant, nor was it her last. She had previously participated in two asthma-related studies at other institutions, motivated by her own diagnosis as a child, and she subsequently volunteered again at UK as a healthy participant in a study examining how our bodies process fat intake. Through each experience she learned more about her own health.

“That is one of the good things about being in the study — a lot of times when people get in studies, they find out about other issues with their health,” she said. “There’s a pretty in-depth amount of testing done, and it could uncover something that wouldn’t be found in a routine exam.”

Bell was also familiar with health research through family members’ experiences. Her father participated in a longitudinal study on gout, and her uncle was a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“he was very excited about science”). Exposure to both researcher and participant experiences has convinced Bell of the importance of empirical, evidence-based information, as well as the need for research participants.

“Having people around who do research, you see how important it is for them to get people in their studies so they have enough evidence,” she said.

She additionally emphasizes the importance of racial and gender diversity among research participants, in order to understand how health conditions and treatments affect people differently, but she simultaneously acknowledges the legacy of the infamous Tuskegee experiment conducted between 1932 and 1972. In the course of that study, hundreds of poor African-American men were knowingly left untreated for syphilis.

When the Tuskegee story was uncovered, it created an understandable distrust of health research, particularly among African-Americans. At the same time, however, the story initiated a host of stringent federal regulations enacted to protect research participants. In 1974, Congress passed the National Research Act and created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which developed guidelines for human subject protection, including the landmark Belmont Report.

Health research involving people is now “very highly regulated, with multiple layers of protection,” Kern said. Studies require a process of informed consent and communication of diagnosis, as well as reporting of the study results. Institutions like UK that conduct health research must have institutional review boards (which include community members) to review the plans for all studies. UK also has an Office of Research Integrity that can answer questions and support research participants.

“Because of Tuskegee I think a lot of African-Americans are leery of participating in research studies,” Bell said. “But if you don’t participate in the research then the data that relates to you is not there. Some things do have a genetic factor, and some things might affect people of African descent differently than people of European and Asian descent.”

Improving health for others

If there is residual distrust about health research, there is also a great deal altruism that motivates many people to participate. According to Roxane Poskin, participant recruitment manager at the UK CCTS, a large percentage of volunteers join studies as way to give back to society and contribute to discoveries that improve health for others and future generations.

This is particularly true for healthy participants, who don’t have a health condition they hope to address through a study but who are essential to research that broadens our understanding of what Kern calls “the basic mechanisms of disease and how the body works.” While participants receive information about their health and sometimes receive compensation for participating, they don’t always receive a direct health benefit for themselves.

“They want to be involved and help others even, if it doesn’t help them directly,” Poskin said. “If we didn’t have volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish research studies. Even the smallest things have been researched, like thermometers and crutches.”

Bell, who has spent her career in non-profit organizations (she currently works with Kentucky Refugee Ministries and ITNBluegrass), says she doesn’t personally know many people who participate in studies, but that she would encourage anyone to participate, either for their own benefit or to advance medical knowledge that could help others.

“We have to have evidence-based research,” she said. “And you get a lot more information about your health than you would in a normal physical.”


Next steps:

Blood thinners

Are the new blood thinner options right for you?

Written by George Davis, anticoagulation program pharmacist coordinator with UK HealthCare.

George Davis

George Davis

Blood thinners are commonly prescribed for prevention of stroke in patients with certain heart conditions or for treatment of blood clots. These drugs, also known as anticoagulants, can save lives for patients who have blood clots or are at high risk for them. However, the arrival of a new class of anticoagulants creates a confusing array of choices. Here are some basics to help you decide which medication is right for you.

All blood thinners cause an increased risk of bleeding – sometimes life-threatening – but that shouldn’t prevent doctors from prescribing it or patients from taking it. One-third of U.S. patients with atrial fibrillation, or afib, who need anticoagulation aren’t receiving it, according to a recently published major study.

With a 50-year track record, warfarin is the traditional option. For patients well managed on warfarin, it can be safe and effective. However, warfarin requires some trial and error to determine the most effective dose while minimizing bleeding hazards, initially requiring frequent (every few days to weekly) lab monitoring (called INR) and can be affected by factors like age, diet and other medications you are taking.

In the last five years, there have been four direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) approved in the United States: apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban and rivaroxaban. When compared to warfarin in major clinical trials, these DOACs were equally effective and demonstrated a lower incidence of major bleeding. DOACs have other advantages, including no need for routine lab monitoring, fewer drug and diet interactions, and more predictable dosing.

But DOACs still can cause bleeding and patients should routinely see a health care provider to check for compliance, drug interactions, and any changes in kidney or liver function, since DOACs can have some associated adverse effects. Additionally, DOACs are more expensive than warfarin, although manufacturers offer assistance programs to qualified patients that can help defray costs.

If a patient on the DOAC dabigatran experiences severe bleeding, a recently approved drug can help reverse that, and an antidote for the other three DOACs may be available soon.

While DOACs are effective, patients already taking warfarin shouldn’t automatically switch to a DOAC, especially if they are tolerating warfarin well.

Now more than ever, if your doctor wants you to begin taking a blood thinner, discussing the different options available is important. This discussion can educate you about the benefits of preventing blood clots versus risk of bleeding.

As always, don’t ever stop or make changes to any medication you’ve been prescribed without telling your health care provider.

George Davis is the anticoagulation program pharmacist coordinator with UK HealthCare Pharmacy Services and the UK Gill Heart Institute, and associate adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.


Next steps:

Gill Heart Institute recognized for excellent STEMI care

All heart attacks are serious, but one type – called STEMI — is particularly deadly.

“A STEMI, or ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction, means an artery to the heart is 100 percent blocked, which is associated with a much higher short-term risk of death or disability compared to other types of heart attack,” Dr. Adrian Messerli of the UK Gill Heart Institute said.

More than 250,000 Americans suffer a STEMI each year and once heart muscle is damaged it will never grow back.

“That’s why immediate access to treatment for STEMI patients is critical to their recovery,” Messerli said.

The Gill Heart Institute has been recognized by the American Heart Association for its high quality treatment of STEMI patients with a 2016 Mission: Lifeline® Receiving Center BRONZE Recognition Award.

According to the AHA, the Gill is “part of an elite group of hospitals recognized … for quality heart attack care … treating patients according to nationally accepted guidelines.”

The AHA requires award recipients to adhere to rigorous standards including time to treatment of 90 minutes or less, administration of certain medications to reduce the chance of another heart attack, and other counseling such as smoking cessation.

“We have an incredibly talented and hard-working team, including nurses, staff and emergency medical personnel, all of whom contribute to successful patient outcomes,” said Susan Smyth, MD, PhD, Medical Director of the Gill Heart Institute.  “This award justly recognizes their work and ultimately is a reflection of the high standard of care we provide to the communities we serve.”

managing hypertension

Here’s how you can manage high blood pressure

Written by Dr. Khaled Ziada, an interventional cardiologist at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute

Dr. Khaled Ziada, managing hypertension

Dr. Khaled Ziada

What do your arteries have in common with a garden hose? Quite a lot, in fact.

Increasing the pressure in a garden hose (whether by opening your faucet to full force or by plugging the end of the hose opening) can cause it to become rigid or even burst.

Blood in the arteries functions in much the same way. Consistently high blood pressure  also called hypertension  damages the tissues of the artery walls. While it’s fairly easy to replace a garden hose, hypertension can lead to serious medical problems and even death.

Hypertension is a chronic condition in which the systolic blood pressure (the top number in the measurement that your health care provider gives you) exceeds 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) exceeds 90 mmHg.

Although it’s normal to experience minor fluctuations throughout the day, one in three Americans experience high levels of blood pressure (exceeding 140/90) even without activity or stress. That can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease and even death. This increased risk is compounded in people with diabetes, high cholesterol or smokers.

Generally, patients with hypertension can help control their high blood pressure by adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as:

  • Losing weight
  • Exercising more
  • Stopping smoking
  • Reducing stress
  • Eating a balanced low-salt diet

When lifestyle changes aren’t adequate, there are numerous drug therapies that can be used separately or in combination to reduce hypertension.

Occasionally, however, some people have what’s called “resistant hypertension,” which despite lifestyle changes and medications cannot be brought under control.

Our research team here at UK HealthCare is exploring a novel approach to treat hypertension by manipulating the sympathetic nervous system signals that contribute to high blood pressure. The sympathetic nervous system regulates the vital functions of the body by connecting the brain to major organs such as the heart, kidneys and blood vessels. If the sympathetic nerves connecting the kidney to the brain are overactive, blood pressure rises.

Our study is exploring the effect of renal denervation, a minimally invasive procedure that may potentially decrease the sensitivity of nerves lining the walls of the kidney arteries, thereby reducing the signals that cause hypertension.

Because it has no direct symptoms, hypertension is known as the “silent killer.” The best first step is to know your blood pressure readings and work with your doctor to control high blood pressure if necessary. If you’ve exhausted all other options, talk with your doctor about clinical trials such as ours, which may be able to help you better control your hypertension.

For more information about this study, call 859-323-5259 or email  h.shinall@uky.edu.

Six ways to prevent a stroke

6 ways to prevent a stroke

When it comes to preventing a stroke, simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference.

Strokes occur when blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain burst or are blocked by a clot. When that happens, brain cells begin to die, affecting a person’s memory and ability to control muscles.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and in Kentucky, but there’s good news: Nearly 80 percent of all strokes are preventable.

In celebration of American Stroke Month, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to live a healthier lifestyle and better your chances of avoiding a stroke.

  1. Get moving. Regular physical activity will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, two of the biggest risk factors for stroke. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five times a week. Something as simple as a brisk walk or bike ride with a friend will work wonders for your overall health.
  2. Stop smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to experience a stroke as nonsmokers. That’s because smoking thickens blood and increases the likelihood of clots. If you’re struggling to quit smoking, ask your doctor for help. And check out our blog with tips and resources that can help you or someone you know start on the path toward success.
  3. Eat your vegetables. And beans, whole grains and nuts, too – all of which are staples of a healthy diet. Improving your diet will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight. Check out our guide for making healthy food choices.
  4. Drink less. Alcohol can increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke. Moderation is the key: For men, no more than two drinks a day, and for women, no more than one.
  5. Learn about Afib. Atrial fibrillation, also known as Afib, is a type of irregular heartbeat. If left untreated, Afib can cause blood clots in the heart that can move to the brain and cause a stroke. Talk to your doctor about Afib if you experience symptoms such as heart palpitations or shortness of breath. Learn more about the UK Gill Heart Institute’s Heart Rhythm Program and listen to a podcast with our Afib specialist, Dr. Ted Wright.
  6. Understand the things you can’t control. Although improving your diet, ramping up your activity and living a healthy lifestyle can all decrease your risk for stroke, there are some risk factors you cannot control. Things like age, gender and race all play a role in stroke risk, and even though you can’t change those factors, it’s important to understand if you’re more susceptible. Visit the National Stroke Association for more information about uncontrollable risk factors.

Stroke quick facts infographic from UK HealthCare


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UK HealthCare celebrates 25 years of live-saving heart transplants.

Celebrating 25 years of heart transplants at UK HealthCare

On April 2, 1991, Dr. Michael Sekela performed the first heart transplant in the University of Kentucky’s history.

It’s been 25 years since that first operation, and we’ve been saving lives through heart transplantation ever since. In fact, we now do more than 40 heart transplants each year, and in 2015 we set a single-year record for the most heart transplants at one hospital in Kentucky.

While much has changed since Dr. Sekela’s first transplant, one thing has stayed the same: our commitment to providing the best care for patients with heart failure.

That commitment was on display earlier this week when patients gathered with staff and doctors from the UK Gill Heart Institute and the UK Transplant Center to celebrate 25 years of heart transplants at UK HealthCare.

“It’s so rewarding to see how our program has evolved,” Sekela said at the celebration. “We want to take care of our patients, and that’s always been the driving force of our program.”

Jim Holdiness, who received his new heart on Aug. 24, 1995, said UK HealthCare gave him a second chance at life.

“If hadn’t been for those people, in this hospital, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

Daniel Garcia received his new heart just earlier this year, but echoed Holdiness’ sentiment.

“I haven’t had this much energy in 25 years,” he said. “When I think of UK, I think of excellence and compassion. Everyone had my well-being in mind.”

Check out some photos from the event below and visit the UK HealthCare Facebook page for a full gallery.


Next steps:

Tools and resources to help you stop smoking.

Take action to stop smoking

If you’re a smoker, you probably already know it’s not a healthy habit. The benefits of not smoking are vast, but the bottom line is this: if you stop smoking now, you’ll have a better quality of life and more years to live it.

Today is Kick Butts Day, an initiative all about supporting people in their efforts to quit smoking and encouraging others on their path to a tobacco-free lifestyle.

We know that quitting smoking isn’t easy, but we’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of tips and resources that can help you or someone you know start on the path toward success. Check them out and pass them along to family and friends.

    • Learn about smoking-cessation aids. Quitting cold turkey isn’t the best option for everyone, and aids like nicotine patches, nicotine gum and medicines for withdrawal symptoms can help make quitting easier. Find about more about tools for helping you kick your habit.
    • Make it through the hardest part. It’s often said that if you can make it through your first week of not smoking, when withdrawal symptoms are at their worst, you’ll be on your way to success. From establishing new morning routines and daily habits to exercising more, little lifestyle changes can help you get through the toughest part of your journey. Here are a few other tips to making it through your first days and weeks as a nonsmoker.
    • Think about your weight. It’s not uncommon to experience weight gain after you stop smoking. Exercising regularly, eating fewer fatty foods and drinking plenty of water can help you maintain a healthy weight moving forward. Check out more suggestions for staying healthy after you quit smoking.
    • A relapse isn’t the end of the world. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a cigarette after quitting. Relapse is a common occurrence and nothing to be ashamed of. Understanding why you chose to smoke is often the key to preventing it from happening again. Here are some additional tips for how to quit smoking after a relapse.
    • You’ll feel better if you quit. From a healthier heart and lungs to whiter teeth and fewer wrinkles, you’ll reap major health benefits when you stop smoking. Check out our infographic for more reasons why kicking your habit is the way to go.


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