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What are the effects of inflammation caused by smoking?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

The inflammation of the arteries caused by smoking has three effects. (1) It causes swelling like the redness and swelling) in your skin when you get an infection. The swelling of that artery in turn decreases the area inside the blood vessel for blood to flow. (2) Inflammation thickens the artery with that swelling, increasing the swirling of blood. (3) Inflammation also causes potholes in the walls. These potholes are places where cholesterol and other stuff can accumulate into plaques or where they can get beneath the lining and accumulate into plaques. Inflammation of the arteries thus inhibits the ability of arteries to expand properly, prohibiting the proper delivery of nutrients to all cells, and sapping energy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.