Smoking, High Blood Pressure and Your Health

woman breaking a cigarette with her hands

Does smoking increase your high blood pressure risk?

While smoking is a proven risk factor for heart attack and stroke, its connection to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is still being determined. However, both smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke increase the risk for the buildup of plaque inside the arteries (atherosclerosis) — a process that high blood pressure is known to accelerate. Every time you smoke, it also causes a temporary increase in blood pressure.

Why you should quit smoking

Smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. For your overall health and to reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke, avoid all forms of tobacco as well as secondhand smoke.

Download these fact sheets:

Quitting smoking (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)

Read about more risks and how to quit smoking.