| 04/06/2012 | 0 Comments More

Blood Clots:

Smoking has other harmful effectson the heart.  Atheroma is the fatty material that can build up within the walls of the arteries.  Research has shown that smokers have more atheroma in their arteries than non-smokers.  This build up of atheroma in their arteries can cause the inside lining of the artery to rupture, leading to a clot.

If the clot blocks the flow of blood to the heart, the heart muscle is starved of oxygen and this can lead to a heart attack.  Some research suggests that smoking increases the amount of LDL cholesterol that the artery wall takes up, allowing atheroma to build up more easily.  So overall, there is a clear link between smoking and permanent damage to the arteries.

Carbon Monoxide:

Carbon Monoxide joins onto the red protein called haemoglobin, in blood cells, making them less able to carry oxygen to the heart and all other parts of the body.  In some smokers, up to half the blood can be carrying cardon monoxide instead of oxygen.  This deprives the heart of vital oxygen.


Nicotine stimulates the body to produce adrenaline which makes the heart beat faster, raises the blood pressure causing the heart to work harder and can increase the risk of irregular heart rhythms.


It is the tar in cigarettes that causes cancer.  However, if a cigarette is low in tar it does not necessarily mean that it has less nicotine and carbon monoxide.  So low-tar cigarettes tend to compensate by taking more puffs and inhaling more deeply.  Just three or four extra puffs extra on a cigarette can transform a low-tar cigarette into a regular-strength cigarette.

By Mike Buss | Personal Trainer

Source | British Heart Foundation

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Category: Health News

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