What Does Smoking Have To Do with Blood Clots

What Does Smoking Have to do with Blood Clots?

Can smoking cause blood clots? Does smoking influence the viscosity or thickness of the blood? Blood clots form for a variety of reasons and some of those reasons are self-induced, known as “acquired risk factors”. For some, it’s smoking, for others, it may be obesity, a medical illness, or recovery from a surgical procedure.

Smoking and blood clots

Smoking is more commonly associated with lung diseases such as lung cancer, but it’s also linked to heart disease. Smoking can increase a person’s risk of developing blood clots resulting in a stroke. According to the American Heart Association, a smoker has the likelihood of dying a decade sooner than a non-smoker. Why?

It all comes down to chemicals and toxicity.  Nearly 600 ingredients are found in cigarettes and many of the chemicals found in cigarettes and cigarette smoke cause cancer. Some are poisonous and extremely toxic.

What does this have to do with the blood?

Smoking changes the surface of blood platelets, making it easier for them to clump together. Damage to the lining of blood vessel walls is also associated with smoking, which increases the potential for clots to form.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, smoking has a serious and detrimental impact on blood vessels and the heart. It’s the chemicals found in tobacco smoke that damage blood cells. Smoking can also damage the heart muscle and blood vessel structure and function.

Any damage to blood vessels increases a person’s risk of developing atherosclerosis – a narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque buildup. Most associate atherosclerosis with high cholesterol levels or obesity, but the same damage potential is present with the over 5,000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

Smoking is also a major contributing factor to the development of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This condition contributes to plaque buildup in arteries that carry blood to vital organs and areas of the body including the heart, the lungs, and the brain.

Individuals should be aware that secondhand smoke carries the same dangers to individuals as it does to the person smoking the cigarette. Research has shown that secondhand smoke can increase blood pressure, damage the muscular heart tissues, and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, commonly nicknamed the “good” cholesterol.

To reduce your risk of a smoking-related blood clot, quit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

Education

Richard Cohen’s Story with Blood Clots

A special thank you to Richard M. Cohen for helping the American Blood Clot Association to educate the public about the danger of blood clots. Mr. Cohen has been the recipient of numerous awards in journalism, including three Emmys, a George Foster Peabody and a Cable Ace Award. He is married to journalist, Meredith Vieira

Read More »
Education

Blood Clot or Charlie Horse?

We’ve all felt it – that teeth-grinding muscle spasm in the arch of the foot, the back of the calf, or the back of the thigh (hamstrings). When do you know if that Charlie Horse is more than a muscle cramp? What if you get them often? How can you tell the difference between a

Read More »
Science

Does Aspirin Cause Blood Clots?

Aspirin is an over-the-counter product that’s been used for generations, not only to reduce pain and fever, but for other benefits as well. Does aspirin cause blood clots? No. That doesn’t mean that using it is without risks for some. One of the benefits of low-dose aspirin (around 75 mg to 80 mg) daily has the potential

Read More »
Prevention

Foods that Prevent Blood Clots

Blood clots form for a number of reasons: a surgical procedure, obesity, a medical condition, or an injury. Blood thinning and anticoagulation medications are commonly prescribed to prevent blood clots for individuals at risk. In addition to medication, a number of foods prove beneficial in preventing the development of blood clots.Blood clots are commonly formed

Read More »
Education

Pulmonary Embolism Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

What is a pulmonary embolism? Pulmonary embolism defines the sudden blockage of a pulmonary artery inside the lung by an embolus, typically from a blood clot that has an origin somewhere else in the body, such as a deep vein thrombosis of the leg. When it comes to defining signs and pulmonary embolism symptoms, the

Read More »
Education

How is Someone Tested for Blood Clots?

A definitive diagnosis of the presence of a blood clot can be performed at your doctor’s office or hospital setting. Depending on the suspected location of the blood clot and the type, a physician has a number of options at his or her disposal. Among them include:  Blood tests  CT scans  Ultrasounds  MRIs How do blood

Read More »
Scroll to Top