If smoking cigarettes causes plaque buildup in arteries, does this mean inhaling smoke from fires does the same?

1 Answer
Jan 25, 2016

Inhaling smoke other than tobacco does not cause plaque buildup in arteries.


Smoke from cigarette, cigar or pipe (tobacco smoke) contains many harmful chemicals which ordinary smoke from fire does not. These chemicals from tobacco smoke damages our vascular endothelium, which is the innermost layer of the wall of blood vessels.

The damage of vascular endothelium leads to atheromatous plaques formation inside blood vessels.

Usually smoke from fire does not contain those chemicals that damage endothelium. But there are other things in smoke like small particles and gases. These damage our inner lining of respiratory tract. When we inhale smoke from fire, we cough and feel breathless. Too much inhalation may even kill. In fact, in cases of fire (in apartments or wildfire) people die more due to inhalation than burn.