Join Cardio Partners for the Great American Smokeout on November 15

Be inspired to quit. Make today the day for a healthier you.

Although the numbers of American adults who smoke recently hit its lowest point since the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began tracking smoking statistics in 1965 (American Cancer Society), 34.3 million adults in the United States still smoked cigarettes in 2017 and 47.4 million people used some type of tobacco product. Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the country. An estimated 480,000 American adults die from cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure every year (American Cancer Society).

Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for sudden cardiac death, and here at Cardio Partners and we’re all about reducing the number of Americans who die from cardiac arrest each year. Whether we accomplish that by advocating for CPR Training, AED Drills in schools, urging early screening for cardiovascular risk factors, or supporting great causes like the Great American Smokeout, we’re all in.

While the numbers are stunning and the health benefits are undeniable, statistics and scare tactics alone are rarely enough to convince a smoker to quit. Certainly, quitting smoking is the right move, but as any former smoker will tell you, it’s really hard to do.  

So make November 15 the day you do it. The Great American Smokeout is the perfect opportunity to seek the counseling and support you need to succeed. The American Cancer Society notes that finding the right support or getting help through medications may double or even triple your chance of quitting successfully.

Quitting Smoking is Hard. Make a Plan.

Nicotine addiction is one of the strongest and deadliest additions. Quitting smoking takes dedication, endurance, self-control, and perhaps most importantly, a plan. The American Cancer Society encourages smokers to speak to their pharmacist or physician to come up with a strategy that’s right for them based on their daily nicotine intake and lifestyle.

Find the Resources and Support that Work for You

Some may prefer to gradually taper off their cigarette intake while others may have a better chance for success by quitting cold turkey. Some may prefer to quit with a friend while others may prefer the help of an app. Regardless of your preferences, there’s plenty of research that shows that smokers are most successful in their cessation efforts when they have several different support options, such as:

How to Manage Cigarette Cravings

Even if you have a solid plan and you’ve discussed possible medications with your doctor, the urge to smoke can strike at any time. Resisting a powerful craving is one of the toughest things a smoker can do. Even former smokers with years of smoke-free anniversaries under their belts still do battle with cigarette cravings. We’ve polled a few former smokers and have put together a list of alternatives that have the stamp of approval from our team.

  • Go for a walk or run — and keep moving until the urge passes
  • Make a call to a local quitline
  • Try deep breathing or meditation
  • Call or text a friend
  • Think of all reasons why you quit in the first place
  • Remind yourself that you’ve come so far
  • Believe that you can resist the urge
  • Make an appointment with an acupuncturist
  • Chew gum
  • Pop a tart vitamin C drop into your mouth
  • Eat a crunchy, healthy fruit or vegetable snack
  • Reward yourself with a small treat for fending off a craving
  • Calculate how much money you’ve saved by not smoking
  • Make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to it whenever a craving strikes
  • Stay busy
  • Go someplace (like a movie theater or restaurant) where smoking is prohibited
  • Distract yourself by doing a good deed (picking up litter, making a donation to your favorite charity)

We wish you good luck and strength in your quest to quit! Believe that you can, and you can do it. For more information on sudden cardiac arrest, AEDs, or CPR training, visit or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at

How Obesity Plays a Deadly Role in Cardiac Arrest Among Young People

The Good News? Early Screening for Cardiovascular Risk Factors Can Save Lives.

We all know that being overweight or obese is bad for your health, but did you know the extent to which obesity and other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol are linked to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in young people between the ages of five and 34?

A recent study conducted by Sumeet S. Chugh, MD, medical director of Cedars-Sinai’s Heart Rhythm Center in Los Angeles and a leader in sudden cardiac death research, found that easily identifiable cardiovascular risk factors were common in young people who suffer from cardiac arrest.

First, a quick word about SCA. Unlike a heart attack, which occurs when one or more coronary artery becomes blocked, SCA occurs when the heart stops beating, stopping the flow of blood to the brain and to other vital organs. SCA often occurs abruptly and without warning. If the heartbeat is not restored with an electrical shock, death follows within minutes. In fact, SCA accounts for more than 350,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Cardiac arrest claims one life every 90 seconds and accounts for more deaths than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined (Heart Rhythm Society).

Obesity can significantly increase the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and all three of these conditions are closely connected with heart disease. In fact, Science Daily reports that being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease by up to 28% compared to those with a healthy body weight, even if they have healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels!

We recently investigated What Causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Young People and found that although causes of SCA in children and young adults vary, death is often a result of genetic heart abnormalities, structural abnormalities, or commotio cordis caused by athletic activity. However, researchers at Cedars-Sinai have discovered that obesity and other common (and often preventable) cardiovascular risk factors may play a much greater role in SCA in children and younger people than previously known.

Obesity, Other Risks Play Large Role in Sudden Cardiac Arrest Among the Young,” an article published by the hospital about Dr. Chugh’s study, notes that “Combinations of obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking were found in nearly 60 percent of cases studied. The findings shed light on a public health problem among the young that has remained largely unsolved.”

“One of the revelations of this study is that risk factors such as obesity may play a much larger role for the young people who die from sudden cardiac arrest than previously known,” said Dr. Chugh.

The comprehensive 16-hospital, multiyear assessment was conducted as part of the Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study.  The study was partially funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Routine Preventative Visits May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

In the article, Dr. Chugh suggests extending prevention efforts (such as offering resources for smoking cessation programs, sharing exercise guidelines, and tips for healthy eating) to include routine preventive screenings for children and young adults. This addition could help reduce cardiovascular risk.

“The added benefit of such screenings is that early efforts to reduce cardiovascular risk are known to translate into reduction of adult cardiovascular disease,” he said.

These visits, typically covered at no charge by health insurance providers (, usually include screenings, checkups, and counseling. The goal of these visits is to help prevent health problems before a young person at risk for sudden cardiac arrest experiences any symptoms. By reducing known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, we may simultaneously lower the number of deaths caused by cardiac arrest.

We hope you’ll visit our blog in the coming weeks for more information on smoking cessation and for strategies to prevent heart disease. In the meantime, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new or recertified AED for your home or workplace, or you’d like to schedule AED training or maintenance, visit or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, you can reach us at


Give Your Feline Friend a Cuddle, October 29 is National Cat Day!

8 Reasons Why Cats are Are Good For Your Health


Although we’re keeping ourselves plenty busy at the EMS World Expo in Nashville this week, we decided to have a little feline fun in honor of National Cat Day. Without further ado, here are a few little-known facts about cats and why owning a cat is good for your heart and good for your health.

Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, these fluffy, independent creatures are crazy good for your health. Whether you live with a snuggle bunny or an aloof loner, having a cat around has some surprising health benefits.

Reason #1: Cats Can Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

We’re Cardio Partners, after all, so we figured we’d start with the heart. True fact: owning a cat can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 30%. A study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology confirmed that cat owners were at a decreased risk for death due to myocardial infarction and all cardiovascular diseases (including stroke)! In fact, the researchers went so far as to note that the “Acquisition of cats as domestic pets may represent a novel strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals” (US National Library of Medicine).

Reason #2: You’ll Sleep Better (Which is Also Good for Your Heart)

According to a study published by the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, “Are Pets in the Bedroom a Problem?” a whopping 41% of pet owners indicated that they sleep better when their pet snoozes with them and just 20% reported that their pet was “disruptive.” To bring it all back to heart health, sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don’t sleep enough are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease — regardless of age, weight, smoking, and exercise habits (National Sleep Foundation).

Reason #3: Purring is Good for Your Bones

And your muscles and tendons, too! That comforting purr your furry friend produces may be as good for your body as it is for your soul. According to Scientific American, “Scientists have demonstrated that cats produce the purr through intermittent signaling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigators have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and promote healing.”

Reason #4: Men with Cats are Perceived as Kinder and More Attractive

We can’t make this stuff up if we tried. Dr. June Nicholls, a leading pet researcher and psychologist in the United Kingdom, found that women were more attracted to men who like animals. Specifically, the study noted that men who like cats are also more likely to be perceived by women as being nicer, more caring people.

Reason #5: Cats Help You Fight Depression and Stress

When you pet your cat (or, to be fair, your dog), the levels of feel-good hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, and prolactin in your body rise dramatically. Each of these hormones are critical to your psychological well-being. Simply having a cat around can help your body ward off stress and fight depression.

Reason #6: Your Kids will Enjoy Fewer Sniffles and Sneezes

From allergies, at least. The National Institutes of Health released a study in 2002 that found that children under a year old who were exposed to a cat were less likely to develop all kinds of allergies, including seasonal allergies!

Reason #7: Watching Cat Videos is Actually Good for You!

Step away from the afternoon coffee and take a peek at Lil’ BUB instead. According to a study conducted by assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick at Indiana University Bloomington and published in Computers in Human Behavior, watching cat videos can boost your energy, stimulate positive emotions, and decrease negative feelings.

Reason #8: They’re a Positive Force for Public Health

Cats kill unwanted critters, and that’s a very good thing. CNN reported in 2016 that rat complaints in cities throughout the country were soaring. Rats, as we all know, are dirty little creatures that carry the newly resurgent bubonic plague and antibiotic-resistant E.coli and C. diff. “Rat-to-human infections aren’t merely a horrific possibility, they are a reality,” said Dr. Chelsea Himsworths, who studies the vermin of Vancouver. After testing rats that came from a particular neighborhood with high rates of human MRSA cases, she found that the rats carried the same MRSA strain. Cats not only eliminate disease-carrying vermin but by rubbing their scent in an area they also discourage future infestations.

That’s all for now, folks! Happy National Cat Day! If you’re in Nashville, we’d love to see you and your cat pictures at the EMS World Expo. You can find the Cardio Partners team at Booth #1947, just outside of the Learning Center. Or, for more information about our services, give us a call at 866-349-4362 or email us at