Smoking tobacco can cause many health problems. Did you know that it can harm your heart and blood vessels?
Smoking is a risk factor for heart disease, which can lead to heart attack, heart failure, and death. About one of every three people in the U.S. dies from heart disease.
Tobacco smoke contains many toxic chemicals. Once those chemicals get inside your body, they travel around in your blood. They can damage your heart and blood vessels. They also affect the cholesterol and fats in your blood.
All this damage can help fats and other debris build up on blood vessels. The blood vessels can become narrower. That prevents blood from flowing through as easily. Not as much oxygen and nutrients can get to the heart. That’s how heart disease develops.
Those narrow blood vessels also raise your blood pressure. That pressure puts stress on your heart.
You can reduce your risk of heart disease by not smoking. Avoiding secondhand smoke also reduces your risk.