Houston Heart Care Blog | Memorial Katy Cardiology Associates

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Your Heart Health and Nicotine

Posted by Orville Caval at Oct 11, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Smoking is a leading cause of preventable deaths and disease:

The leading cause of deaths and disease in the United States, as well as the whole world, is smoking. There is no doubt about in the harms and effects of smoking.


Every year around 480,000 people are killed In USA due to smoking. Lungs are chiefly affected by smoking, and numerous other diseases are also caused by smoking. Lung cancer is the primary disease caused by smoking that is even mentioned on the labels and precautions of the packs. But apart from lung cancer, smoking damage the health of the cardiovascular system thus affecting the heart also. It must be surprising for you to know that there is a significant effect of smoking and nicotine on cardiac health. Those who are at risk of stroke, diabetes or even heart disease are advised to quit smoking as this can act as a catalyst in the progression of the disease. Cigarettes are composed of around 5000 chemicals, including tar, arsenic, and formaldehyde which are damaging for your body. Most people who get to know about the damages and the chemicals found in cigarettes quit smoking.

E-cigarettes – An alternative or just a myth?

As it’s the age of technology, there have been recent advancements in the tobacco use technology also. The introduction of vaping devices, also known as electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), has gathered the interest of most smokers. The use of e-cigarettes is on the rise because the manufactures have removed many harmful chemicals from the constituents. This has attracted a large population of smokers to shift to vaping. Even e-cigarettes are not safe for your health. With time, there could be even more research on the harms of vaping-devices.

Recent advances in the technology of tobacco use have led to a renewed interest in smoking. E-cigarettes and vaping are on the rise as manufacturers have taken out some of the harmful ingredients found in cigarettes. Unfortunately, your health is still impacted even with an e-cigarette. E-cigarettes usually still contain nicotine. Incredibly, the nicotine content in e-cigarettes is often higher than what’s found in typical cigarettes.


How Nicotine affects your heart?

Nicotine is present in all forms of cigarettes, whether traditional or electronic. Nicotine has different effects on the body, and it acts in several ways. The prominent effect is on the cardiovascular system.

The following are the effects of nicotine on the human heart

  1. Increase the heart rate
  2. Increases blood pressure
  3. Narrow the arteries which cause the decreased blood flow to the heart & body
  4. The narrowing of arteries (blood vessels) results in Coronary Heart disease as a result of excessive intake of nicotine.

Nicotine has a high addictive mechanism, and that’s why it causes severe withdrawal effects and symptoms on those who try to quit it.

Along with these issues, nicotine also acts as a factor contributing to the hardening of the arterial walls. Nicotine affects the cardiovascular system and heart functions. All these factors and effects on the cardiovascular system increase the risk factors for heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Nicotine stays in the body for about 6-8 hours, and people having only a few cigarettes per day keep their bloodstream filled with nicotine all day.

Is it easy to quit smoking?

As nicotine is addictive and can have withdrawal effects, so when you decide to quit smoking, you will often face some consequences and issues that will make it difficult for you to quit smoking.

Symptoms which are faced by different smokers when trying to quit smoking include

  • Troubled thinking
  • Increased hunger
  • Anxiety & irritation
  • Mood swings
  • Craving for tobacco
  • Severe Migraine or Headache
  • Anger

These symptoms make it quite difficult for a smoker to quit cigarettes; you must have strong willpower to quit smoking. It may not be possible to quit smoking on the first try, but repeated attempts can produce successful results.

How to Quit Smoking?

Nicotine addiction can be compared to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin according to different research. But its dependence has worsening effects on your health, especially on your heart. The good news is that quitting nicotine will bring short and long term benefits for your health and your heart health as well.

There are different methods which can help you to quit smoking.

  • You can always consult your primary doctor about your plan to quit smoking.
  • Getting advice from a health professional will help you understand the harms and will ease out the process of quitting.
  • Different local and national level programs can help you quit smoking
  • Behavioral therapies can help you get rid of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
  • Medication, which can reduce the withdrawal symptoms, can also help in quitting smoking.


Orville Caval
Posted by Orville Caval


Houston Heart Care Blog 

Houston Heart Care Blog covers heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, and related health issues. Not all views expressed in Houston Heart Care Blog stories reflect the official position of Memorial Katy Cardiology Associates.


This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call for emergency medical help immediately.