Diabetes and High Blood Pressure: What is the risk?
31st August 2017

Smoking Will Raise Your Blood Pressure



If you are already a smoker, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that:
  • Smoking damages your lungs
  • Smoking can cause a ‘Smokers Cough
  • Smoking can make you short of breath
  • The aroma of a cigarette may cause offence to other people
  • Smoking can be cause of many serious life-threatening conditions
  • You probably know there are around 7000 chemicals in a cigarette
  • Some 70 of these chemicals, may be a cause of cancer
  • Smoking may cause lung cancer
  • Smoking may reduce life expectancy
I must mention here that nicotine in cigarettes causes a temporary increase in blood pressure for up to 30 minutes.
In this section, I’m detailing how the damage from smoking can contributed to high blood pressure and many other life threatening conditions.


  • SMOKING CAUSES damage to your heart
  • SMOKING INCREASES risk of cardiovascular disease
  • SMOKING INCREASES risk of coronary heart disease
  • SMOKING DAMAGES the lining of your arteries
  • SMOKING CAN CAUSE fatty material, narrowing arteries (Atheroma)
  • SMOKING HARDENS the walls of your arteries
  • SMOKING STRESSES the heart
  • SMOKING CAN CAUSE a stroke
  • SMOKING CAN CAUSE a heart attack
  • SMOKING AFFECTS your quality of life
  • SMOKING CAN CAUSE thrombosis
  • SMOKING MAKES YOU age prematurely
  • SMOKING CAN CAUSE atherosclerosis
ALL THE ABOVE bullet points are either covered in this section or in other sections of this website. Lets first look at the bullet point “Smoking makes you age prematurely”
Ageing involves many biologically complex processes, which are the processes vital for all human beings, these processes are characterized by a decline in what doctors and health professionals call cellular homeostasis, this involves keeping a balance of the many factors that keep the cells in our body healthy. However, over time this decline can lead to a loss and impairment of physiological integrity and function.
Specific conditions of ageing include abnormal gene patterns, shortened telomeres
Telomeres are an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Source - www.tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere/
, which are an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age, associated biological dysfunction which means that part of the body is not working correctly, causing abnormal or impaired functioning of our bodily systems and organs.

Like all organs, the lung demonstrates both physiological and structural changes with age that result in a progressive decrease in lung function in healthy individuals. Cigarette smoking accelerates lung function decline over time, suggesting smoking accelerates ageing of the lung. The smoke from cigarettes also contains dangerous chemicals causing serious damage to the trachea, which is the windpipe leading to the bronchi and bronchioles, which are the branches of the lung carrying oxygen into the depths of the lung.
Based on this it has been said that cigarette smoking accelerates the ageing of the small airways known as epithelium, which is the cellular covering of internal surfaces of the lungs. These cells take the initial brunt of inhaled toxins from the cigarette smoke and one of the primary area of pathology, which is the study of disease associated with cigarette smoking.
Should people choose to smoke, they could leave themselves open to premature ageing, as well as cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and other conditions that are linked to high blood pressure, and the possibility of lung cancer and a premature death.

SMOKING can be a major cause of Thrombosis. What is thrombosis?

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THROMBOSIS is a process that forms a blood clot that can form in a vein called a venous thrombosis, described as a blood clot within the deep veins in the leg, this is commonly referred to as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. There is also a condition called arterial thrombosis, this is a very serious condition as it’s arteries that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the organs in your body.
HOW DOES smoking cause blood clots? Within your blood there are cells known as platelets and proteins, together they are responsible for clotting of blood. Normally, blood clots are triggered when a vein or artery is damaged by an accident, like cutting yourself with a knife, it’s the clotting of blood that stops the bleeding, this is perfectly normal, part of the bodies healing process.
SMOKING causes problems with platelets, which were mentioned in the previous paragraph, they form an important job forming blood clots to stop bleeding. However, smoking is responsible for the platelets to become sticky, platelets then stick together in bloodstream. This condition leads to clots forming inside arteries. Smoking is also responsible for the development of fatty deposits building up inside the arteries.
ARTERIES & VEINS are the life line that keeps the human body alive, arteries circulate oxygen rich blood from the heart to all the organs in your body, veins then take oxygen depleted blood back to the heart, the lungs provide the oxygen that starts the process again. All the arteries and veins are kept healthy by endothelium which is tissue forming a single layer of cells that provide a lining to organs, veins and arteries in the body, this lining provides a Teflon type surface ensuring blood flows freely around the arterial circulation. Before we move on to how smoking causes atherosclerosis, lets recap on the arterial system and conditions caused by blood clots.
Arteries taking oxygen rich blood from the heart connects to arterioles which have a smaller diameter compared to arteries.

Arterioles play a part in the regulation of arterial blood pressure, they branch out, connecting to capillaries.

Capillaries are extremely small, only one cell thick and have very thin walls, allowing the transfer of oxygen and nutrients contained in blood to tissues in the body, collecting carbon dioxide waste material which connecting to venules. Capillaries work as groups, not individually.

Venules which like capillaries are extremely small, they take the carbon dioxide and waste material connecting with veins.

Veins take the carbon dioxide and waste material back to the heart and ultimately into the lungs where it leaves the lungs through the normal act of breathing.

The Arterial system that supplies blood to every part of your body is quite amazing, excluding arteries, arterioles, venules and veins, there are around 9 billion capillaries in the adult human body, each capillary is around 5 micrometres thick. To give an idea how small that is, in metric there are 10,000 micrometres in 1 centimetre, in imperial, there are 25,400 micrometres in 1 inch. Another comparison is the human hair, one single strand of hair can measure around 100 micrometres wide. That means the width of one strand of hair, is the same width as 20 capillaries!
BLOOD CLOTS caused by smoking can trigger numerous health problems, other conditions will be covered in monthly updates in the members section. Let’s recap first how blood circulates through the body and the lungs.

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The heart pumps oxygenated blood from the left ventricle into the aorta, arteries and capillaries as detailed above, taking oxygen and nutrients to around 200 different types of cells, making up a total of some thirty-five trillion cells in the human body, cells are the building blocks of humans and all living things. At this point venules take waste matter and carbon dioxide via the complex network of veins back to the heart’s right atrium, then into the right ventricle, the heart pumps this deoxygenated blood through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, your lungs then breath out less oxygen, and more carbon dioxide than you breathed in.
When you take your next breath, you inhale a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide, both are classed as gases, these gases are taken to the heart via the pulmonary vein to the left atrium, then into the left ventricle, the process then starts all over again.
Once the deoxygenated blood carried by the pulmonary artery reaches the right and left sides of the lung it then divides into a network of smaller and smaller arteries then to capillaries which connect to groups of pulmonary air sacs called alveoli, it’s at this point the exchange of gases takes place and then exhaled.
This is followed by inhaling oxygen and carbon dioxide into the lungs reaching the pulmonary air sacs, the alveoli where the gasses are exchanged with the red blood cells. This oxygenated red blood is taken to the heart via the pulmonary vein to be pumped around the body.
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It’s the alveoli’s function in the lungs that keep us alive, there are a lot of these tiny sacs in the human lung, some 300 million, enough to last a lifetime providing they’re not damaged. However, the damage to your lungs starts with the first cigarette, the first time you inhale, you take into your lungs a whole cocktail of some 7000 chemicals, which immediately starts damaging your lungs and DNA. Your journey thorough life if you continue to smoke, will may cause suffering with breathing problems, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Emphysema, Bronchitis and possibility of lung cancer. Factually it’s reported 80% of all lung cancers are caused by smoking. It’s also reported smokers die on average ten years earlier than non-smokers. To summarise, the chemicals slowly cause damage to alveoli, however for people who choose to stop smoking, it’s possible to reverse some of the damage, especially with exercise. However, people who are long term smokers and choose to stop are unlikely to see their lungs totally heal.
A PULMONARY EMBOLISIM what does that mean? A pulmonary embolism occurs when there is a sudden blockage of one of the major arteries inside the lung, this is a serious condition and can possibly be life threatening, however most of the time the clots are small and although they can cause some damage, with the right treatment a recovery is possible.
To summarise, there is only one pulmonary artery that splits into left and right pulmonary arteries, connecting the heart to the lungs, if either fail or become blocked, there is a high probability that you will die. One of the factors that can cause the failure or blockage to the pulmonary artery or vein, is related to smoking.
Apart from smoking which causes damage to arteries leading to high blood pressure and blood clots, there are numerous other conditions listed above that will be explained in the members section.
DOCTORS believe 80% of ‘LUNG CANCER’ is caused by smoking, the smoke you inhale contains carcinogens which are cancer causing substances, these substances change the tissue in your lungs. When you first start smoking, your body can sometimes repair the damage, however, as you continue to smoke cancer can develop. Patients with lung cancer rarely live longer than five years once being diagnosed.

The illustration below shows a healthy lung on the left and a smoker’s lung on the right, the tar that remains in your lungs every time you smoke, slowly fills up the alveoli ‘Air Sacs’ that transfer oxygen from your lungs into the blood stream making it more difficult to breathe. Smoking can also damage your DNA, should this be of interest to you, there’s many web sites that can explain DNA far better than me.
As indicated on this image, smoking over time will cause damage to arteries, heart and other organs that in time will cause an increase in blood pressure. However as previously mentioned, one cigarette on its own only causes a temporary increase in blood pressure, there is also an increase in heart rate caused by an instant response to the chemical nicotine, which is in every cigarette, nicotine also causes your arteries to constrict resulting in an increase in blood flow from the heart.
In addition, the smoke from cigarettes contains carbon monoxide which reduces the level of oxygen in your blood flow, this in-turn increases the heart rate to ensure the heart pumps harder, providing more blood to the organs in your body, to ensure your organs receive sufficient oxygen to keep you alive. To summarise, smoking doesn’t cause high blood pressure, the increase in blood pressure from smoking a single cigarette is temporary, lasting around 30 minutes, it is the long-term damage listed above that causes permanent damage, resulting in high blood pressure with the potential risks of heart attacks, a stroke, deep vein thrombosis, a pulmonary embolism and the possibility of lung cancer.


VAPING has been introduced as an alternative to smoking, I have done some research to try and establish what trials have been carried out. As you will understand Vaping in various forms has been used for many years.
However, it’s only in recent years it has become widespread as an alternative to smoking. Some reports have indicated that Vaping is far more dangerous than previously thought, even suggesting Vaping could be as bad for your heart as smoking. The vapour could cause stiffness to the arteries and the aorta, in a similar way to smoking cigarettes. Common sense tells me inhaling any toxins into your lungs can’t be good for you. However, I’m aware more research is needed to establish how safe Vaping is and what damage it does to your body.
There are many websites that can give expert advice how to stop smoking, I have included my thoughts on giving up smoking in my download section. From my perspective, quality of life is very important, apart from the risks of a stroke or heart attack, there is also the risk on COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and Emphysema which can leave people gasping for breath every day every night for the rest of their lives.

Smoking is just one of the causes of high blood pressure (Hypertension), there are many more I have included within my website.


GENETIC Conditions are those related to our genes, it is often said that, leading a healthy life or a life with medical conditions is written in your genes. Medical problems can be hereditary, caused by one or more gene mutations being inherited from parents. There’s more information in the members section.

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