A common misconception about cigarette smoking is that it causes breathing problems and lung cancer, but only few smokers realize that cigarette smoking is also responsible for some of the major cardiovascular diseases (CVD) – diseases relating to the heart and the circulatory system. Whenever a person smokes a cigarette, the chemicals present in tobacco such as nicotine and carbon monoxide damages the cardiovascular system. While nicotine causes immediate and long term affects on blood pressure, heart beat, coronary blood flow and cardiac output, Carbon monoxide thickens haemoglobin which is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues via the blood stream. Thus it suffocates the tissues and therefore makes the blood vessels sticky resulting in blood clots
Smoking has been identified as the prevailing cause of most of the preventable premature deaths in the USA. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), approximately 440,000 people in the USA die of smoking every year. Smoking causes serious disorders in the body resulting in specific dysfunctions such as fatty build-ups in the arteries and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease i.e. a disorder affecting the lungs Smoking is also responsible for 30% of the total coronary heart disease cases in the USA, which often results in death.
A number of medical researches have proved smoking tobacco as the most common risk factor found among young individuals; both men and women. It greatly increases the chance of coronary heart disease and stroke in people below 50 years of age. It even intensifies the risk of peripheral arterial disease, aortic aneurysm, cancer, chronic lung disease, and many other chronic diseases.
Although the exact impact of the toxic components of cigarette smoke on the cardiovascular mechanism are yet to be researched, it has been already identified and acknowledged that cigarette smoking increases inflammation, thrombosis, and oxidation in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It also increases oxidative stress leading to cardiovascular dysfunction.
Smoking not only causes coronary diseases, but also creates a myriad of related disorders in the body that further increases its intensity such as blood pressure, and blood clotting. It even renders by pass surgery ineffective and increases the risk of rapid coronary heart problems.
Even secondary smoking or passive smoking is potent enough to cause cardiovascular related disabilities and deaths. The tobacco present in the environment has been found to be responsible for a variety of ailments related to the heart and blood vessels and as many as 22,700 to 69,600 premature deaths every year in the USA.
However all is not lost. These disorders can be controlled to a large extent. Studies in medicine have revealed a substantial improvement in the condition of people experiencing cardiovascular diseases, ischemic strokes, and various smoking related ailments immediately after quitting smoking in spite of the fact that they had prolonged periods of smoking in the past. This proves that it is never too late to start anew.