Back to Blog Category
Understanding The Connection Between Smoking, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Disease

Understanding The Connection Between Smoking, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Disease

Understanding The Connection Between Smoking, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Disease

Smoking is a major preventable cause of diseases related to the heart and blood vessels. It also harms nearly every body organ, including lungs, eyes, reproductive organs, bladder, digestive organs, and bones. Unfortunately, that ‘ek phoonkne se kya hoga?’ question isn’t rhetorical anymore. If someone smokes, they are susceptible to early signs of cardiovascular disease.

Cigarette smoke contains scores (nearly 7000) of toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide and tar. While nicotine affects the brain (it releases dopamine- the feel-good hormone) and muscle activity, tar is a sticky substance that coats the lungs. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that reduces oxygen supply to the heart and lungs. Smoking can, therefore, lead to cell damage, an increase in plaque, a narrowing of blood vessels, and a reduction of good cholesterol.

Smoking & Its Effect On The Heart: Dil Ka Connection

Smoking is the main cause of an alarmingly-high percentage of cases of cardiovascular disease. Even secondhand or passive smoke is a significant cause of heart and lung disease.

Cigarette smoke leads to inflammation of cells, particularly those that line the blood vessels. Consequently, these narrow blood vessels can lead to several cardiovascular conditions. So does smoking cause high blood pressure or heart problems? Yes, here are a few of them.

1. Coronary Heart Disease
Our coronary arteries supply the heart with nutrients and oxygen. Clogging of these arteries over time can lead to a reduced blood flow to the heart. Smoking can hasten the blockage of these arteries and lead to blood thickening and clot formation. All these factors contribute towards an increased risk of heart attack.

2. Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis involves the narrowing and stiffening of arteries. This can occur due to a buildup of plaque in the blood due to cholesterol, fat, and other substances. Regular smoking increases cholesterol and, thus, the plaque buildup in the blood vessels, making them narrow and inflexible and ultimately affecting the blood supply to the heart and the brain.

3. Stroke
A stroke becomes a possibility when the blood supply to the brain is cut off because of either a blood clot or a rupture in any brain artery. They are preventable if we monitor a few risk factors. Nicotine in cigarettes and carbon monoxide in the smoke are both harmful to the body. Smoking increases the chances of a stroke, permanent brain damage or even death since it affects the blood supply throughout the body. Even passive or secondhand smoke can make people susceptible to stroke. Quitting smoking reduces the odds of suffering this debilitating episode.

4. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The aorta is the main artery responsible for transporting blood throughout the body. Smoking can damage a section of the aorta in the abdomen, leading to an aneurysm: a bulge or weakened area. Known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm, this condition is life-threatening.

5. Peripheral Arterial Disease
Smoking can wreck havoc on the body in more ways than one. It is the leading preventable cause of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). When blood vessels become narrow and obstruct blood flow to arms and legs, PAD can occur. Peripheral arterial disease can lead to gangrene, blood clots, and in extreme cases, amputation. Smokers are five times more sensitive to contracting peripheral arterial disease and gangrene than non-smokers.

Smoking and Blood Pressure

Lighting up a stick can instantly raise your pulse and blood pressure, taking up to 20 minutes to return to normal. While the connection between smoking and hypertension (consistently-high blood pressure) is not very clear, even temporary spikes caused by a cigarette are damaging.

Every time you smoke, you activate your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and raise your blood pressure. This network of nerves is responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight aspect of your body. The SNS, when activated, causes an increase in blood flow to your muscles, making you feel more alert and tense, subsequently causing a rise in pulse and blood pressure. This repeated rise can cause damage to your arterial walls and lead to heart issues.

Secondhand Smoke is Dangerous Too

Source :

The detrimental effects of cigarettes are not limited to active smokers. Secondhand smoke is also a huge culprit behind various illnesses in smokers and non-smokers alike. Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and lung disease.

How Can You Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Because Of Smoking?

No one can predict if and when a smoker will develop cardiovascular disease. However, the only sure way to prevent it is to consider quitting smoking as soon as possible. Tobacco causes almost instant damage to the heart and blood vessels, but the good news is the damage can be curtailed when you quit. The human body is resilient & it begins repairing itself the moment you stop smoking.

This holds even if you are a long-time smoker. Within a day of quitting smoking, the heart rate begins normalising, and blood pressure will become more stable. And within a year, you are at a significantly lower risk of having a heart attack. After quitting smoking for more than five years, you lower your risk of a stroke almost like that of a non-smoker.

The effects of smoking on our bodies cannot be underestimated. It is a major contributor to heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks. Fortunately, when you quit smoking, you give your body immediate and long-term advantages. While you create a solid ‘quit tobacco’ plan, do read how you can Lower Your Blood Pressure.

We understand how difficult it is to quit smoking. You may or may not succeed the first time you try to quit smoking. Par dil ka maamla hai, so the key is never to stop trying. Because once you quit smoking, the rewards are priceless.

If you decide to quit cold turkey, do read this. If you have taken a more gradual approach to quitting tobacco, NRT products like RYZE Nicotine Gums can help you.

The Importance of Mental Health Support in Smoking Cessation
Source :

Back to Blog Category

Related Blogs