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Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Dr. Anupam Goel 90% (98 ratings)
MBBS, MD (Gen. Medicine), DM (Cardiology)
Cardiologist, Delhi  •  25 years experience
Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Smoking can affect your health in all respects, and it is no different when it comes to your heart. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have heart problems compared to individuals who do not smoke.

How does smoking cast an impact on your cardiac health?
Smoking increases the risk of developing various kinds of cardiovascular issues such as stroke and coronary heart disease. It damages the lining of the arteries which, in turn, paves the way for building up of fatty substances called atheroma which narrows down the artery. This may lead to heart attack, stroke, and angina.

Tobacco contains carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. This indicates that the heart has to work harder for supplying the required amount of oxygen. Cigarettes also contain nicotine which stimulates the production of adrenaline. This instigates the heart to beat at a faster pace and raises the blood pressure.

The chemicals present in the smoke of tobacco can harm your blood cells and retard the normal functioning of the heart. When not inhibited, it can lead to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is an ailment in which a waxy material, termed as plaque builds up in the arteries and limits the flow of blood to different parts of the body.

When plaque builds up for a long span of time, it causes coronary heart disease, and you are likely to experience symptoms such as heart failure, chest pain, heart attack, arrhythmia and heart failure and even death.

Smoking is a major risk factor for another fatal ailment called the peripheral artery disease or PAD. PAD is a clinical condition where the accumulation of plaque in the arteries inhibits carriage of oxygen-rich blood to the head, different organs, and limbs.

With regular smoking, the blood is more susceptible to clotting which surges the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Is there any effect of second-hand smoking?
Second-hand smoking, also referred to as passive smoking means inhaling the smoke ejected while smoking. When a person is regularly exposed to smoke, he or she is likely to have low levels of good cholesterol, damaged heart tissues, and high blood pressure. Various researchers are of the opinion that second-hand smoke of tobacco is a viable cause of heart ailments in nonsmokers. This means, if you are a smoker, you are definite to harm the members of your surroundings.

Why should you quit smoking?
One of the best ways to decrease the risk of having cardiac ailments is to stop smoking. In case you have never smoked, you should never think of starting it for the same reason. You should also try to avoid second-hand smoke by avoiding going to a smoking zone. It would be a great idea to avoid the company of smokers for the periods when they are smoking.
Stay away from smoking for your heart health. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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