You probably already know that smoking is bad for your lungs. Did you know it also makes you more likely to get high blood pressure and heart disease?
The nicotine in cigarette smoke is a big part of the problem. It raises your blood pressure and heart rate, narrows your arteries and hardens their walls, and makes your blood more likely to clot. It stresses your heart and sets you up for a heart attack or stroke.
It is one of more than 4,000 chemicals found in the smoke from tobacco products; it is the primary component that acts on the brain. Smokeless tobacco products (for example, snuff and chewing tobacco) also contain many toxins as well as high levels of nicotine.
Nicotine is a naturally occurring, colorless liquid that turns brown when burned and takes on the odor of tobacco when exposed to air. There are many species of tobacco plants, the Tabacum species serving as the primary source of today’s tobacco products. An extensive study shows it to have a number of complex and sometimes unpredictable effects on the brain and body.
Nicotine is addictive, which is why most smokers tend to do it regularly. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, even at the risk of negative health consequences.
Most smokers know that tobacco is harmful and express a desire to decrease or end use of it, with nearly 35 million people seriously attempting to quit each year. Unfortunately, most relapses within just a few days and less than seven percent of those who try to quit on their own achieve about a year of abstinence.
Cigarette’s are a very efficient and highly engineered drug-delivery system. A smoker can get nicotine to the brain very rapidly with every inhalation. A typical smoker will take 10 puffs on a lit cigarette over a period of five minutes. Thus, a person who smokes about one-and-a-half packs (30 cigarettes) each day gets 300 nicotine hits to the brain daily. These factors contribute considerably to nicotine’s highly addictive nature.
So Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco immediately raise your blood pressure temporarily, but the chemicals in tobacco can damage the lining of your artery walls. This can cause your arteries to narrow, increasing your blood pressure. Secondhand smoke also can increase your blood pressure.
What About E-Cigarettes?
According to some studies, vaporizers can carry a risk of high blood pressure despite the elimination of tar and other toxic ingredients from the equation.
Nicotine from the vape juice causes blood vessel construction that consequently increases one’s blood pressure. Scientists also claim that people with a heart condition should not smoke or vape due to negative effects of nicotine on this organ. Also, this addictive substance causes damage to any vascular tissue.
If the effects of nicotine on the blood vessels continue during an extended period, other than high blood pressure it may cause stroke, heart attack, and heart failure. Additionally, nicotine is known to increase heart rate that can also induce high blood pressure. So As you can see vaping is just as unhealthy for you and regular smoking. It the nicotine that is causing the damage.
How Can I Quit Smoking?
When I quit smoking, I followed Allen Carr’s Easy Way To quit smoking. Here Are a few tips from his web-page.
- Set your date and time to stop and carry on smoking as usual right up to that time – don’t try to cut down beforehand, that makes cigarettes seem more precious rather than less so.
- Remember – you’re not giving up anything because cigarettes do absolutely nothing for you at all. They provide you with no genuine pleasure or crutch; they simply keep you addicted – a slave to nicotine.
- Get it clearly into your mind: you are losing nothing, and you are making marvelous positive gains not only in health, energy, and money but also in confidence, self-respect, freedom and, most important of all, the length and quality of your future life. You’re going to enjoy being a non-smoker right from the moment you put out your last cigarette.
- Light your final cigarette and make a solemn vow that regardless of what highs or lows may befall you in future, you will never puff on another cigarette or take nicotine in any form again. That is one of the most important decisions you will ever make because the length and quality of your future life critically depend on it. What’s more, you know it’s the correct decision even as you make it. Having made what you know to be the right decision never even begin to question or to doubt that decision.
- Your body will continue to withdraw from nicotine for a few days, but that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. The physical withdrawal is very slight – there is no pain – and it passes quickly. What’s more, it’s what smokers suffer all their smoking lives. Non-smokers do not suffer from it. You are a non-smoker, and so you’ll soon be free of it forever.
- If you associate a cigarette with a coffee, tea, drink or break, have your coffee, tea, drink or break and at that moment, instead of thinking: “I can’t have a cigarette now”, simply think: “Isn’t it great: I can enjoy this moment without having to choke myself to death”.
- Do not try to avoid smoking situations or opt out of life. Go out and enjoy social occasions right from the start and do not envy smokers, pity them. Realize that they will be envying you because every single one of them will be wishing they could be like you: free from the whole filthy nightmare. No smoker wants to see their children start smoking which means they wish they hadn’t started themselves.
Remember it’s not you who are being deprived but those poor smokers. They’re being deprived of their health, energy, money, peace of mind, confidence, courage, self-respect, and freedom. If you’re offered a cigarette, just say: “No thanks – I don’t smoke,” rather than start a long conversation about how long it has been since you stopped.
These are just a few of his tips on smoking and blood pressure. I encourage you to go to his website and continue there. Also, click this link for his video on you-tube. It is extremely helpful for anyone serious about quitting this addictive habit.
Sources used for this article: Allen Carr on Quitting Cigarettes
This weeks readers questions comes from N.S.NEELAKANTAN. After reading the article, “Is Olive Oil Heart Healthy?” he forwarded this question. ...