Cholesterol and Smoking

About 4.6 million people

get heart disease due to smoking and is a cause for a number of deaths. Smoking pose a great risk for reduction of good cholesterol levels. This article tries to understand how cholesterol and smoking are related.

Effects of Smoking on Cholesterol

Smoking has two different affects on cholesterol levels. It reduces good cholesterol HDL. Increases the LDL cholesterol levels in the body.
This is not desired as it increases the risk of heart disease. These effects are mainly due to nicotine present in cigarettes.

Cholesterol levels are vital to balance the body systems especially blood. When the cholesterol levels are disturbed they result in blood problems. Smoking causes increased production of fibrinogen, a vital element in formation of clots.These so formed clots move to different places such as brain and heart. Once they reach the arteries they cause heart attacks.

Cigarette are made up of high levels of free radicals. These free radicals cause the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This oxidized form is worst among all types of cholesterol.

Cigarette smoking decreases the responsiveness of cells surrounding blood vessels. It is also known to enhance the rate of plaque formation on the arteries.

Cholesterol and Smoking Related Disorders

Buerger’s disease:

It is a disease that is caused due to excessive smoking. This disease effects blood circulation. The blood is unable to reach toes and fingers. Due to lack of blood circulation in toes and fingers they become gangrenous. In such cases, toes and fingers are amputated to prevent further spread of disease.


As cholesterol level rises, blood pressure also increases. Nicotine present in cigarette is responsible for the shrinkage of blood vessels. Due to shrinkage of blood vessels, there is a difficulty in pumping blood. Decreased blood flow is responsible for high blood pressure and rupture of cholesterol plaques within blood vessels. These are the first signs of heart disease.

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