How Does Smoking Cause Strokes?


About Smoking

Smoking cigarettes is a very deadly habit. One in 10 smokers end up with a cancer of some sort, while others are at a very high risk of getting one of many life-threatening ailments. Some of these ailments are as small as a cough to as intense as a myocardial infarction, or a heart attack. Smoking is one of the world’s leading causes of preventable death. Smoking is addictive, but if one quits smoking, the body can repair itself within 10 years unless cancer or emphysema is present. Most countries have instituted high taxes to deter smoking, but with little or no effect. Most smokers are aware of the potentially fatal effects of smoking but continue to smoke because they are addicted or think that it wouldn’t affect them.

Smoking and Strokes

The nicotine in cigarettes and the lack of oxygen to the body's tissues causes blood vessels to thin and leads to strokes. Smoking makes the body unable to circulate blood properly, which in turn causes high blood pressure. The carbon monoxide from smoking cigarettes causes cholesterol deposits to form on the arterial walls. The combination of high blood pressure and high cholesterol can cause a stroke. Blood clots become more likely because of the nicotine.

Signs of a Stroke

The most common type of stroke associated with cigarette smoking is called a thrombotic stroke, which occurs when blood clots are formed by plaque build up in an artery. This kind of stroke can occur suddenly and the effects can be long lasting if it isn’t detected in time. The patient usually complains of intense, sudden headache and numbness on one side of his body. In severe cases, coma or death will occur.

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