Smoking and blood pressure

The relationship between smoking tobacco and lung cancer is well known. Did you know that smoking puts at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and other chronic diseases? And, although the exact reason why is still unknown, there is a connection to smoking and high blood pressure (hypertension). Both smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke increase the risk for the buildup of fatty substances (plaque) inside the arteries (atherosclerosis), and every cigarette you smoke causes a temporary increase in blood pressure.

What causes a rise in blood pressure?

Cigarette smoke has more than 5,000 chemical components, hundreds of which are harmful to human health. Two chemicals in particular are associated with high blood pressure:


Nicotine is a highly addictive and very dangerous chemical that stays in your body for six to eight hours depending on how often you smoke. It can cause an increase in both your blood pressure and heart rate. Nicotine may also contribute to the hardening of the artery walls which may lead to a heart attack.

Carbon monoxide

This harmful gas is inhaled into your lungs and transferred to your bloodstream every time you smoke. Carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen that is carried in the red blood cells and raises the amount of cholesterol that is deposited into the arteries. Over time, this can cause the arteries to harden and leads to heart disease, artery disease, and possibly heart attack.

Here are just a few examples of other toxic chemicals in each inhalation.

Arsenic: arsenic compounds have been linked to lung, skin, liver, and bladder cancers.

Benzene: can cause cancer, particularly leukemia, in humans.

Chromium VI: chromium VI compounds cause lung cancer and have been associated with cancer of the nose and nasal sinuses.

Formaldehyde: causes leukemia and cancer in respiratory tissues.

Tar: is not one single chemical, it leaves a sticky, brown residue on your lungs, teeth and fingernails.

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard for nonsmokers, especially children. The risk of developing heart disease is about 25-30 percent higher among people exposed to tobacco smoke at home or work, and nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol have a greater risk of developing heart diseases.

It’s time to quit

Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products contain dangerous toxins that are damaging to your health. To reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke, you should avoid all forms of tobacco as well as secondhand smoke.

The best thing you can do for your health is to join the thousands of people who quit tobacco every year. It may not be easy, but you can do it!

Let’s do it together! Speak to your Dario coach about how to start the progress towards stopping smoking.

Medical Disclaimer
The articles provided on this website are for informational purposes only. In addition, it is written for a generic audience and not a specific case; therefore, this information should not be used for diagnostic or medical treatment. This site does not attempt to replace the patient-physician relationship and fully recommends the reader to seek out the best care from his/her physician and/or diabetes educator.



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