When you lower your blood pressure you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. But high blood pressure in the U.S. isn’t getting any lower: A new study published in Epidemiology found that 19 percent of 24-32 year olds are above the normal blood pressure range (120/80 or lower). If your blood pressure is climbing, you don't need drugs to bring it down, but the first thing you have to do is quit smoking. You might smoke to relax, but in reality your blood pressure rises with each puff. “Smoking causes vessels to tighten up,” explains Nieca Goldberg, M.D., American Heart Association spokesperson and author of The Complete Guide to Women’s Health. "It also raises your risk for heart attack and stroke, and smoking lowers your levels of good cholesterol.” So instead of taking smoke breaks, consider finding a quit-smoking program that can help you stop for good.