Smoking and Blood Pressure

Smoking contains spurious substances that elevate the blood pressure. High blood pressure accounts for high mortality rates. So, giving up smoking will drastically lower your high blood pressure. Discover more about smoking and blood pressure.

People are generally aware that smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart stroke and attack, and lung cancer. But they are not sure whether there exists any definite relationship between smoking and blood pressure.

Several studies have proved that smoking raises blood pressure. One such study carried on 12,417 men (current smokers, previous smokers, and never smokers) was published in February 2002 in the Journal of Hypertension. The research revealed that:

  • High blood pressure was highly prevalent among the current smokers.
  • Smokers who had quit smoking had a lower prevalence of high blood pressure.
  • But previous smokers who had smoked for the longest time and had quit recently had a higher prevalence of high blood pressure.
  • Lowest prevalence of high blood pressure was found among respondents who had never smoked in their lifetime.

Now you may ask, “How does smoking raise the blood pressure?” To quench your thirst, let us make you aware that tobacco smoke contains many poisonous chemicals that significantly elevates the blood pressure. Among the 60 known toxins that affect smokers, nicotine and carbon monoxide are highly dangerous that causes high blood pressure.

Nicotine

Nicotine helps in the production of the hormone, ‘epinephrine’ (also known as adrenaline), in the adrenal gland. Epinephrine constricts the blood vessels which makes the heart beat faster and work harder to pump blood to all parts of the body. This raises the blood pressure.

Nicotine also lowers down the oxygen supply to the blood finally raising the blood pressure.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide, a lethal gas is inhaled while smoking. It interferes with the process of oxygen supply to heart, brain, and other vital organs of the body.

Apart from the above two toxins tobacco contains other chemicals that have problematic effects on blood pressure. Those toxins elevates blood pressure by

  • increasing plasma ACTH, cortisol, aldosterone, and catecholamine levels
  • damaging the arteries by clogging up with plaque
  • damaging the linings of blood vessels and speeding up the process of hardening of the arteries called, ‘atherosclerosis’

So, health experts advise to quit smoking if you want to lower down your high blood pressure. But then you may pose, ‘How to quit smoking?’ So, here are a few tips that will help you in smoking less and lowering your blood pressure.

  • Limit your cigarette intake each day. Make it a part of your schedule to limit your cigarette intake, rather than just “lighting up” whenever you feel like.
  • Whenever you feel like smoking, engage yourself in some activity. This will help you in diverting your attention from the craving. Always keep a list of tasks handy so that you are ready when the urge strikes you.
  • Still then if you find it difficult to stop smoking go for a smoking cessation therapy that helps you to quit smoking.