Smoking and High Blood Pressure
Smoking-related illnesses claim more American lives than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.
Most of the smokers are willing to stop smoking and would do so if they could only find the will power. Yet smoking causes serious physical problems to those people who have smoked for a long period of time which can result in physical disability and even death.
Surprisingly many people don’t appear to find this knowledge gives them the will power they require. When you smoke, you run the risk of getting burned inside and out. Whether tobacco is smoked, chewed, or taken in by any other means, the nicotine in the tobacco raises the blood pressure.
The more you smoke, the higher the nicotine level is in your blood, and the higher your blood pressure. This accounts to a large extent for the great increase in brain attacks, heart attacks, and pain in the legs due to poor circulation in smokers, sometimes leading to amputation.
Most people know there is a definite relationship between smoking and lung cancer, yet it appears few are aware of the proven relation between smoking, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, yet there have been several studies on the links between smoking and the higher risk factors of smokers being predisposed to cardiovascular disease.
Numerous studies have shown that smoking or chewing tobacco raises blood pressure and that when you stop using tobacco products, your blood pressure falls. The latest such study in the Journal of Hypertension (February 2002) comes from France.
Out of 12,417 men who were current smokers, previous smokers, and never smokers, current smokers had the highest prevalence of high blood pressure.
Previous smokers had a lower prevalence with the highest rate of high blood pressure in those who had recently stopped and had smoked for the longest time. Those who had never started smoking had the lowest prevalence of high blood pressure. Do you need more evidence than that?
Cigarettes contain both nicotine and carbon monoxide both of which are proved to be highly dangerous substances, yet people continue to put these unhealthy “sticks” into their mouth and inhale the poisonous fumes into their body.
This in turn causes the heart to work much harder as the oxygen supply is depleted thus causing the blood pressure to rise.
Nicotine raises your blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels. This occurs because the oxygen in your blood decreases and because nicotine directly stimulates the production of a hormone, epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), in the adrenal gland.
Epinephrine raises blood pressure. After tobacco use raises blood pressure, you’re at risk of all the medical consequences of high blood pressure, not to mention diseases associated with smoking, such as mouth and lung cancer.
Carbon monoxide is considered a lethal gas which is used in some commercial gases. It is also produced from the combustion of petrol. It has an effect on the haemoglobin in our blood.
Carbon monoxide interferes with the process of oxygen which has been breathed in attaching itself to haemoglobin and forming a compound called oxyhaemoglobin which is necessary for the oxygen to be released into the tissues of the heart and other organs.
Carbon monoxide then attaches itself to haemoglobin instead of the oxygen and death can eventually occur because of oxygen starvation.
The Cigarette Smoke
Another way cigarettes have a problematic effect on blood pressure is because the smoke accelerates the advance of atherosclerotic arterial disease much more rapidly and cardiovascular disease occurs much more quickly.
Other problems associated with smoking and high blood pressure can be the effects on the brain. The brain requires high levels of oxygen and if the arteries in the brain are clogged with plaque, atherosclerotic disease advances rapidly with the possibility of clot formation which can lead to a possibility of stroke and death.
The good news is that these same studies have found that if a relatively healthy person was to stop smoking, then within 18 months, over 90% of them would see their predisposition to cardiovascular disease reducing to the same as a person who doesn’t smoke. This is surely a good enough reason to find that extra will power needed to give up the dreaded weed.
There are enough evidence of the dangers of tobacco and enough helpful advice to quit using tobacco that you would have to be really careless not to stop immediately, if not sooner.
Drugs that have caused a small fraction of the illness and death that tobacco can be blamed for have been taken off the market. So why cigarettes are still sold legally and advertised in many of our most prestigious magazines?
The answer to that question lies squarely at the feet of government and the millions of dollars spent on cigarettes that are turned around and used to influence that government.
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