What Smoking Does to the Heart

Any amount of smoking even occasional smoking or light smoking , damages the heart and the blood vessels. Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases which include coronary heart disease and stroke. The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells and damage the function of your heart and arteries. These damages increase the risk of heart attack, heart related chest pain and high blood pressure and stroke, which is sudden death of brain cells caused due to blood clotting or bleeding.

1. Smoking damages your arteries

Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a buildup of fatty material which narrows the artery and can cause angina and heart attack.

The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means that your heart has to pump harder to supply the oxygen your body needs.

2. Smoking can cause cancer

Smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer, throat cancer, chronic asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

3. Smoking increases blood pressure

The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, making your heart work harder.

4. Dangerous for passive smokers

Cigarette smoke doesn’t just affect smokers. When non-smokers breath in second-hand smoke, also known as passive smoke or environmental tobacco smoke, it can be very harmful. Research shows that exposure to second hand tobacco smoke is a cause of heart diseases in non-smokers. This means that the smokers could be harming the health of their children and the society at large.

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Children who are exposed to passive smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer causing substances and poisons as smokers. Passive smoke contains more than 250 chemicals known to be toxic or cancer causing.

Image Courtesy of: netdoctor.co.uk.

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