10 Facts on How Smoking Affects your Heart, Blood and Blood vessels

[widget id=”ad_unit-10″]ad_unit-10[/widget]1. Smoking causes atherosclerosis

Smoking causes the formation and the accumulation of plaque in your arteries which results to the hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

2. Smoking causes coronary heart disease

Smoking causes coronary heart disease which results from the build up of plaque in the coronary arteries (leads to blockage of the artery). During time of stress or physical exertion, there is not enough oxygen-rich blood reaching the heart muscles as a result of the narrowed or blocked arteries.

3. Smoking increases your risk for peripheral vascular disease

Smoking can cause the accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels (arteries) which then causes the arteries to narrow. When the arteries of the arms and legs will narrow and clog, less blood will reach these areas which can result to pain, tissue loss, infection or gangrene.

4. Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm

Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm ( swelling or weakening of the main artery of the body—the aorta—where it runs through the abdomen).

5. Smoking increases the cholesterol levels in your blood

Smoking can affect the levels of cholesterol in your blood by lowering the amount of good cholesterol and increasing the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. Good cholesterol or technically known as HDL or High Density Lipoprotein brings cholesterol from other parts of your body back to the liver. In the liver, the cholesterol is then processed for removal from the body. If you are a smoker, your good cholesterol levels will decrease and so more of the cholesterol will accumulate in your blood. And with high blood cholesterol, your risks for getting heart disease are also increased.

6. Smoking makes your blood become viscous

Smoking can make your blood viscous by affecting the factors involved in clotting specifically by raising the levels of fibrinogen and increasing the platelet production.

7.  Smoking causes damage to your blood vessels and heart tissues

Smoking can damage the function of your heart and function of your blood vessels.

8. Smoking causes your RBCs to lose their function resulting in reduced oxygen level in the blood

The red blood cells or RBC contain hemoglobin which bind to oxygen and carry the oxygen to the different parts of our body. They also bind to carbon dioxide so that the carbon dioxide is excreted from our body as waste. What happens when you smoke is that the hemoglobin will bind to the carbon monoxide (in the cigarette smoke) instead of the oxygen so the RBCs cannot carry oxygen into the different parts of your body.

9. Smoking increases your blood pressure

Nicotine stimulates adrenaline production which causes the heart to beat faster therefore raising your blood pressure. The increase in blood pressure can also be caused by the narrowing of the arteries (which can also be caused by smoking).

10. Smoking increases your risk for heart attack and stroke

With the atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries, increased levels of blood cholesterol and blood pressure, coronary heart disease, smokers are at high risk of suffering from stroke or heart attack. The plaques which can form and build up with frequent smoking can rupture and cause clots that can block the arteries and lead to stroke.


The effects of smoking to your heart, blood and blood vessels are real and serious. The sooner you quit, the lesser your chances are of getting heart disease or if you already have heart disease, quitting now will reduce your risk of suffering from a 2nd attack. Quit smoking NOW!




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