Facebook Twitter instagram Youtube

How nicotine affects your heart?

Smokers are recommended to give up as soon as possible if they are at risk for heart disease, stroke, or even diabetes. You would guess that the chemicals in cigarettes are to blame for this. After all, over 5,000 compounds, including tar, formaldehyde, and arsenic, are found in just one cigarette.


What nicotine does do to your heart?


According to research, smoking makes your heart work harder by raising the heart rate, constricting key arteries, and possibly even creating an irregular heartbeat. Smoking boosts blood pressure, which raises the chance of having a stroke.


Nicotine has a range of effects on your body, but it mostly affects your cardiovascular system. When you try to stop using it, withdrawal symptoms may appear because it is quite addictive. 


Even though nicotine is the primary substance in cigarette smoke, other substances like tar and carbon monoxide are also detrimental to your heart in several ways. These substances cause atherosclerosis, which is the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, potentially harming the artery walls. Additionally, they have an impact on fibrinogen, a substance that aids in blood clotting, and cholesterol levels. This raises the chance of developing a blood clot, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.


Cardiovascular conditions due to smoking


Your heart and blood arteries can become irreversibly damaged if you smoke cigarettes. As a result, cardiovascular disease may develop.


The term "cardiovascular disease" describes a variety of ailments that affect the heart and/or blood arteries.




Plaque accumulation causes the arteries to constrict and stiffen in atherosclerosis. Scar tissue, fat, and cholesterol are components of plaque.


Plaque both increases inflammation and restricts blood flow, making it challenging for blood to reach other parts of the body.


In particular, smoking promotes and exacerbates atherosclerosis by boosting inflammation. The swelling encourages the accumulation of cholesterol and plaque in the arteries.


Peripheral artery disease (and peripheral vascular disease)


A disorder is when there is insufficient blood flow to the arms, legs, hands, and feet due to blood vessel constriction. The most common avoidable factor in this disorder, which can lead to amputation, is smoking.


Coronary heart disease


When the coronary arteries in the heart are unable to supply enough blood to the heart, coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs. It is also known as coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease.


Through atherosclerosis and increased blood pressure, smoking can lead to CHD.


Plaque accumulates in the coronary arteries due to atherosclerosis over time, obstructing blood flow. The coronary arteries are harmed by high blood pressure, which causes them to become even narrower.


Furthermore, the chemicals in cigarette smoke might cause blood clots to form that may clog coronary arteries by thickening the blood.


Abdominal aortic aneurysm


A bulge develops in the main artery that carries blood throughout the body, the aorta, which is located in the abdomen. Sudden death may occur if an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures. Aortic aneurysms kill more women than men, and smoking is almost always the cause of these fatalities.


Why should you quit smoking right now?


People continue to choose to smoke despite the obvious negative effects of nicotine and vaping. However, quitting the habit might almost immediately help your body start to heal itself.

  • Your heart rate reduces twenty minutes after you stop.
  • Your blood's carbon monoxide levels return to normal 12 hours after quitting.
  • Your risk of having a stroke drops to that of a lifetime nonsmoker after four years.
Dr. Yatendra Kumar Porwal
Cardiac Care
Meet The Doctor
Back to top