Did you know that smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease in the United States? People who smoke are at a higher risk of developing not just cancer but heart disease, which happens to be the number one killer not just in the US but in many other countries.
You may wonder – in what way does smoking cause heart disease? There are plenty of ways actually. Here they are:
High Blood Pressure
Smoking causes a sudden spike in a person’s blood pressure. If you are a smoker, you may have noticed that your heart beats faster every time you smoke. That’s because the toxins in tobacco clog in your blood vessels, restricting the flow of blood. When your blood pressure remains more than the normal level, you then develop a condition called hypertension. During high blood pressure, your arteries tend to narrow, increasing your risk of heart and lung disease.
Reduced Oxygen Flow
Because the blood carries oxygen to all parts of the body so impairment in the blood flow also means impairment in the supply of oxygen. The inability of oxygen to reach vital organs in the body, particularly the brain, could result to severe damage and complications, such as stroke.
Smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing process in the arteries, which in turn increases the risk of blood clot formation. Carbon monoxide, a harmful gas present in tobacco smoke, prevents blood from carrying oxygen to the brain. Without proper blood circulation, affected tissues will get literally suffocated and eventually die within minutes.
Damaged Blood Vessels
Clots cause intense damage to the blood vessels and arteries. This leads to the development of serious heart diseases as well as stroke – one of the leading causes of premature death in America.
As you continue to smoke, your risk of suffering from heart attack, stroke and related diseases gets even higher. Cigarette smoke does not only affect the heart of smokers. It also affects other people who are exposed to it. Just recently, researchers revealed that third hand smoke, or the residue that remains in surfaces like walls, curtains and furniture, could cause DNA damage.
Quit Smoking Now
If smokers would all quit, thousands if not millions of people can be saved from heart disease. Considering that heart-related illnesses are among the major causes of mortality in the world, smokers should adopt healthy lifestyle habits and forget about quitting smoking.