Does Cigarette Smoke Affect My Arteries?

Damage from Smoking

Smoking damages nearly every organ in the body, including blood vessels. The chemicals in cigarettes thicken blood and obstruct the flow of oxygen throughout the body. Nicotine hardens and constrains the arteries, slowing circulation and increasing the risk of blockages. One cigarette can damage microvessels to the point of restricting blood flow in the toes for hours.

Cardiovascular Damage

Plaque build up in the arteries, called Atherosclerosis, increases with smoking. It tightens blood vessels and stresses the heart. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) are severe forms of Atherosclerosis. CAD is a plaque buildup in the coronary arteries, depriving the heart of blood and causing blood clots. Developing PAD or CAD from smoking increases the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Visit the Doctor

Every smoker should visit the Carolina Heart and Leg Center, P.A. to check their heart and cardiovascular health. It is important to diagnose and treat any heart or vessel damage caused by smoking as early as possible. As smoking can permanently damage vessels, anyone with a history of smoking should make an appointment with the knowledgeable doctors at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, P.A. for the best health possible.

At Carolina Heart And Leg Center, P.A. we are dedicated to serving our patients in a caring and supportive atmosphere with expert knowledge, patient education, and the highest standard of care. Contact us today at (910) 491- 1760 and put your health in good hands.

*Stock photographs and artwork are for illustrative purposes only. **This blog/post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on this blog/post as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare provider. Please see our full disclaimer at