Need more reasons for motivation to give up smoking? Cigarettes have a way of leaving such marks on your body that never go away. Yes, we are talking about the diseases that come along with the continuous use of cigarettes. And high blood pressure is one of them!
Smoking can cause your blood pressure levels to rise due to the presence of nicotine in cigarettes. People who smoke regularly are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. To better understand the link between smoking and high blood pressure, Health Shots reached out to Dr Rajiv Dang, Senior Director and HOD Internal Medicine and Medical Director, Max Hospital, Gurugram.
The link between high blood pressure and smoking
For the unversed, high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension is a common problem that occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls is too high. This makes your heart work harder to pump blood, leading to heart problems and more complications. While there are several reasons for high blood pressure, smoking is a prevalent cause of the problem.
Dr Dang shares that smoking has been scientifically proven to cause high blood pressure. Nicotine in cigarettes can lead to the release of adrenergic hormones like vasopressin, and adrenaline, known to cause your blood pressure to rise, increasing your chances of developing heart disease.
Also Read: Can blood pressure be a sign of heart attack?
“A patient who is not hypertensive may experience a hypertensive curve with excessive regular daily smoking. However, BP patients can go from high bp to malignant Hypertension where the values are abnormally high, and can go to reno Vascular Hypertension where the renal vessels face the brunt reducing the blood supply to the kidneys.”
In other words, regular smoking can cause more hormones to release which are responsible for increasing your blood pressure. The expert also points out that while smoking cigarettes is more harmful, smokeless tobacco can also increase your blood pressure levels.
How to quit smoking?
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), while smoking is one of the most preventable causes of mortality, it is one of the most prominent causes of death. As per statistics, at least one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco use. Since smoking can lead to dire consequences, it is best to quit it. Here are some ways to help you control the cravings and kick the problem to the curb:
1. Consider nicotine replacement therapy
Believed to be one of the most common ways to quit nicotine, nicotine replacement therapy can help you deal with cravings. Nicotine gum, sprays, inhalers, etc. are available to help you quit smoking.
2. Know your triggers
What triggers you to reach out to a puff? Is it a break at work? Is it spending a night with friends? It is normal to have triggers, and knowing these will help you control them. So, make sure to find out what triggers you and steer clear of it.
3. Take a break
Did you know smoke helps you relax? It is one of the reasons why people smoke. Instead of finding solace in cigarettes, develop a new hobby to break free from tobacco cravings.
4. Distract yourself
Whenever you crave a smoke, distract yourself and munch on gum. Studies have shown that snacking may help you not smoke and you might be able to handle your cravings.
Also Read: Do you smoke? Here are some early signs of lung cancer
5. Seek professional help
If nothing helps, seeking professional help is the best way to put your cravings to rest. You can go tobacco-free with the help of a therapist who can help you save your life.