If you smoke, the good news is you can do something right now to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Stop smoking! Women who smoke, especially those who are overweight and those who take birth control pills and other
hormone-based contraceptives, are among the most at risk.
About 80 percent of women under 40 who have heart attacks are smokers, but according to "Women and Smoking: An epidemic of smoking-related cancer and disease in women" posted by the American Cancer Society, the risk of heart disease is greatly reduced as soon as 1 to 2 years after you quit. After 10 to 15 years of not smoking, your risk of stroke returns to what it would be if you had never smoked.
Talk to your doctor about tools and techniques to help you stop smoking or look online for a support group. Many of them are specifically for women. SmokefreeWomen, for example, is just one of many groups that can help you quit for good.