How does smoking affect arteries?
It leads to raising of LD cholesterol levels......
Some of the substances in tobacco smoke result in a lowering of high density lipoprotein (HD cholesterol), and a rasing of low density lipoprotein (LD cholesterol).
This can result in cholesterol accumulating in the inside of arteries, narrowing them and increasing blood pressure. This, however, occurs over an extended time period, and does require the person to already have a relatively high cholesterol level. If your total lipid profile is very low, then it is less of a risk.
To say that smoking makes arteries stiff sugests that the process of smoking physically changes the structure of arteries themselves, which is misleading.
As with any risk factors associated with smoking, they are just that: risk factors - smoking increases the chances of them happening, but does not mean that they will 100% happen. This is why some people are able to smoke for 40 years and get no health problems, whilst others smoke for 10 years and get lung cancer. Its a risk issue.