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A Look at How Smoking Affects Circulation and Vein Health

Smoking affects every part of your body but it has a particular effect on your circulatory system. It has an effect on your veins and significantly increases the chances of venous disease.

The CDC reports that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking and smoking-related costs reach $300 billion a year. Every year, more than 3,200 people under 18 reach for their first cigarette. Many of these young people will adopt the habit over the next few years.

The Harmful Chemicals

Cigarettes today are riddled with harmful chemicals that are either highly addictive and/or toxic. A typical cigarette might contain about 700 chemicals. These include (to name just a few): hydrogen cyanide, nicotine, formaldehyde, lead, arsenic, ammonia, radioactive materials, and more. Nicotine is especially addictive but also has powerful effects on the arteries. It is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it constricts the vessels, making them smaller and makes the heart work harder to pass blood through.

Smoking creates a vicious cycle that is constantly restricting your body from the oxygen it needs. The carbon monoxide from tobacco smoke poisons the ability for oxygen to be carried through the blood. This makes the heart work harder.

How It Causes Varicose Veins

Smoking will affect circulation. It can narrow the walls of the blood vessels, which makes it more difficult for blood to travel through them. Restricting circulation can lead to protruding veins that restrict blood flow to the heart. This leads to discomfort, pain, swelling, varicose veins, and even ulceration in severe cases. Ulcers from the venous disease are wounds in the skin surface caused by poor circulation.

A Sweeping Blow To Your Health

Smoking harms every organ in the body. It’s difficult to think of another legally obtainable substance that has such sweeping effects on various aspects of your health.  Of course, one of the major systems that smoking affects includes your heart and your circulatory system. It is a culprit for many heart disease cases in America today.

Many of the chemicals in tobacco smoke also harm your blood vessels, often by changing their structure and function. This damage will increase the risk of diseases like atherosclerosis, which is the deposition of plaque in your arteries. This will prevent blood from flowing freely.

Similarly, smoking will increase the chances of blood clotting by restricting and hardening the arteries or making the blood thicker, which restricts the flow.  When the arteries are hardened, it can impede the flow of oxygen, increasing the risk of blockage.

Keep The Blood Flowing and Stay Away From Smoking

Ingesting 700 chemicals via cigarette smoke will certainly have effects on your body. Smokers will very often experience discomfort in their legs due to poor circulation. El Paso Varicose Veins Laser Clinic sees the effects of smoking on people’s veins. It can exacerbate a problem that is already present due to genetics or cause unnecessary complications and long-term effects.