Cigarette Smoking And Heart Disease

People usually associate cigarette smoking with breathing trouble and lung cancer. But smoking is actually one of the major causes of heart disease for men and women. Smokers have a high risk of developing several chronic disorders. Along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes, smoking is a major independent risk factor for a coronary heart disease. Research have shown how cigarette smoking causes coronary heart disease (CHD) leading to a heart attack. It causes damage by decreasing the oxygen flow to the heart. It increases the blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are fatal for the heart.

As per reports worldwide, there have been 1,690,000 premature deaths from cardiovascular disease among smokers in the year 2000. Cigarette smoke strains the heart and increases fatty deposits in the blood. The risk of CHD and atherosclerosis gets aggravated due to this. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which fatty substances like cholesterol, cellular waste and calcium are deposited along the lining of arteries in a human body.

Smoking tobacco in any form, even cigars, will increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides also get increased in the process. This is disastrous as it negatively affects the cholesterol levels. In the case of coronary artery, the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrow, decreasing the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. This extra strain results in chest pain or angina pectoris. When one or more of the coronary arteries are completely blocked, a heart attack occurs.

The risk of heart attack increases with the number of cigarettes one smokes. There cannot be any safe number of cigarettes that one can smoke. The longer one smokes, the risk or fatality increases. It has been found out that people who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers.

The smoke from a cigarette does not just affect smokers. People around the smoker are also at risk. Passive smoking affects people who are often around smokers. This can also lead to respiratory problems and heart disease. Smoking continues to be one of the main causes of death that can be prevented. People at all stages of life be it unborn babies, infants, children, adolescents, adults or the elderly have had to face the negative impacts of smoking, either active or passive.

A cigarette contains multiple poisons, including addictive nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar and hydrogen cyanide. There are 4,000 other poisonous substances of varying toxicity, including 43 known carcinogens. Nicotine has negative effects on the arteries throughout the body. It increases heartbeat, causes hypertension and constricts the arteries. Carbon monoxide stops oxygen supply to the heart and combined with nicotine increases blood clotting and clogging. Smoking low-tar or low-nicotine cigarettes rather than regular ones appears to have little effect on reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.

So all you smokers, be warned. It's high time you kick the butt. Just think of all the positive factors. Apart from saving a fat lot of money, it would prolong your life, reduce the risk of diseases and make you end up looking healthier!