The Effects of Smoking on Blood Circulation: What You Need to Know

Effects Smoking

and Health

Smoking has long been known to be detrimental to overall health, but it’s even more dangerous when it comes to blood circulation. Smoking has been linked to a number of cardiovascular – or heart-related – conditions, including stroke, coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease. The effects of smoking on blood circulation are stark and can result in serious health problems. Here’s what you need to know.

How Smoking Affects Blood Circulation

When you smoke, the nicotine and carbon monoxide in the cigarettes damage the inner walls of the blood vessels. This damage affects the ability of the blood vessels to dilate and expand, and restricts the flow of blood through them. Smoking also increases the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can cause a buildup of plaque. This build-up of plaque narrows the arteries, further decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to tissues.

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The Effects of Smoking on the Body

When the flow of blood is restricted, it can cause a number of health problems. People who smoke are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack and even kidney disease. Smoking can also make existing conditions worse, such as diabetes or obesity, and can make wound-healing more difficult.

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Tips to Quit Smoking and Improve Health

The best thing you can do to reduce the effects of smoking on your health is to quit. It’s not easy, but there are a number of methods – like prescription medications, nicotine patches and other nicotine replacement therapies – that can help. Talk to your doctor to decide the best quit-smoking approach for you.

Quitting smoking has a number of immediately health benefits, but the improved blood circulation is one of the most significant. Your blood vessels will start to heal and the risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular conditions can be greatly reduced.

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Making other lifestyle changes can also help. Eating a balanced, healthy diet and getting regular physical activity can help improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk even further.


Smoking has serious effects on blood circulation, and the long-term health effects can be devastating. The best way to protect your health is to quit smoking and talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes you can make to improve your cardiovascular health.