I've also had high cholesterol since my early 20s... it's part of my family medical history. Pretty much everyone in my family dies of heart attacks or strokes, or both. I have lowered my bad cholesterol by using olive oil for everything I cook.. I still had high overall cholesterol, but my proportion of good to bad was improved by it.

That being said even with the family history, I have a grandmother who's 90 has had two heart attacks in her 50s and is still going strong. She has never smoked a day in her life. My mother who was at a healthy weight, who exercised and ate right, but smoked cigarrettes (less than half a pack daily) died at age 54 of a massive heart attack.

I think diet or meds can help, but if you smoke too, you may as well kiss any of the benefits of good diet or medication good bye.
"The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everybody else."
"...rationality is not necessary to sell things.."
My staples: Mane n Tail (cowash), Garnier Fructis Sleek n Shine (leave in condish), Grapeseed oil or shea butter (sealing), Organic Root Stimulator Elasticitea (leave-in condish & light hold)