An estimated 67 million people in the United States use tobacco products. Of those, more than 55 million smoke cigarettes. Effect of smoking 1s the single largest preventable cause of illness and premature death in the United States It has b It has been linked to CVD , cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and peptic ulcers. In relation to coronary disease, affect of smoking speeds the process of atherosclerosis and carries a threefold increase in the risk of sudden death after a myocardial infarction.
According to estimates, about 20 percent of all deaths from CVD are attributable to smoking. Effect of smoking prompts the release of nicotine and another 1,200 toxic compounds in the bloodstream. Similar to hypertension, many of these substances are destructive to the inner membrane that protects the walls of the arteries. Once the lining is damaged, cholesterol and triglycerides can be deposited readily in the arterial wall. As the plaque builds up, it obstructs blood flow through the arteries.
Furthermore, smoking encourages the formation of blood dots, which can completely block an artery already narrowed by atherosclerosis. In addition, carbon monoxide, a by product of cigarette smoke, decreases the blood’s oxygen carrying capacity. A combination of obstructed arteries, less oxygen, and nicotine in the heart muscle heightens the risk for a serious heart problem.
Effect of smoking also increases heart rate, raises blood pressure, and irritates the heart, which can trigger fatal cardiac arrhythmia. Another harmful effect is a decrease in HDL cholesterol, the “good” type that helps control blood lipids. Smoking actually presents a much greater risk of death from heart disease than from lung disease.
Pipe and cigar smoking and tobacco chewing also increase the risk for heart disease. Even if the tobacco user inhales no smoke, he or she absorbs toxic substances through the membranes of the mouth, and these end up in the bloodstream. Individuals who use tobacco in any of these three forms also have a much greater risk for cancer of the oral cavity.
The risks for both CVD and cancer start to decrease the moment a person quits smoking. One year after quitting the risk for CHD decreases by half, and within 15 years, the relative risk of dying from CVD and cancer approaches that of a lifetime nonsmoker. A more thorough discussion of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking.