Smoking and Heart Health

Most people understand that cigarettes have ill effects on your health, leading to illnesses usually affecting the lungs and related organs. But most people aren’t aware that smoking also negatively affects your heart health and can cause a variety of heart related illnesses. This week, we’re going to explore the relationship between smoking and your heart.

It can reduce your oxygen supply

When you smoke, not only does it create buildup in your lungs but also your veins and arteries. Smoking causes plaque buildup similar to when you eat unhealthy foods which in turn narrows your veins and arteries which means that your organs are getting a reduced oxygen supply in a process called atherosclerosis. This increases your risk of heart attack or stroke, even death. In other occasions that happen more rarely, smoking can cause peripheral artery disease. In this case, the narrowing of veins and arteries causes insufficient oxygen in the limbs and may result in amputation.

It can cause a variety of other issues

Another type of issue that can be caused by smoking is a risk for aneurysms which can cause internal bleeding and potentially death in the case of a rupture. It can also cause high blood pressure leading to hypertension which may be very serious for those afflicted with blood pressure issues. Please read our article on blood pressure facts to learn more about how blood pressure affects you.

Other factors to consider

Even if you don’t smoke, being surrounded by those who do such as friends and family members still puts you at risk. One thing that people tend to not realize is the power of secondhand smoke. Inhaling smoke from tobacco users still puts you at risk for developing these issues, albeit at a lower risk level, but nonetheless still a point of concern.

It comes to show that smoking isn’t good for you. There are a lot of negatives associated with tobacco use and it’s simply not worth the trouble. In the case of having a habit of smoking, it’s very difficult to quit. If you’re looking to quit and need help, please visit smokefree.gov for more resources.

Forbes Aggabao -Alexander’s Hope Intern

Sources:

FDA

NIH

Images:

IStockPhoto

DepositPhotos