Smoking is one of the major causes of cardio-vascular disease. Smoking damages the heart by damaging the lining of the arteries leading to a build up of fatty deposits, reducing the space for blood to flow.
Nicotine a substance found in tobacco smoke stimulates the body to produce adrenaline. This increases the heart rate, blood pressure and results in heart having to work harder.
Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen that blood can carry to the heart and the rest of the body.
All these factors increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease and having a heart attack or stroke.
Over time the ateries become so narrow that they cant deliver enough oxygen to the heart. This leads to a condition known as angina. Angina is a crushing chest pain that if left untreated causes heart cells to die.
A heart attack can occur if a fatty deposit that has formed in the artery detatches and forms into a blood clot. It is this that starves the heart of blood and oxygen.
A stroke can occur if the artery becomes so blocked that no oxygenated blood can reach the brain.-www.bhf.org.uk
Another disease which is directly linked to smoking is COPD. COPD is caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung. The inflammatory response in the larger airways is known as chronic bronchitis, which is diagnosed clinically when people regularly cough up sputum. In the alveoli, the inflammatory response causes destruction of the tissues of the lung, a process known as emphysema. This is a progressive disease that can eventually lead to total heart faliure.