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 (HBP or hypertension) is still being determined. However, both smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke increase the risk for the buildup of fatty substances (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.
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This content was last reviewed October 2016.