Tobacco smoke poisons the body right away.

Think the odd cigarette won’t hurt? Just smoking one is enough to block your arteries and trigger a heart attack, America’s chief medical adviser has warned.


Tobacco smoke begins to poison the body straight away, with each puff circulating 7,000 cell-damaging chemicals to most of your organs.

The 700-page Surgeon General’s report found there was no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke – whether you deliberately inhale or breathe it in second hand.

‘That one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack,’ said Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

This is because smoke immediately seeps into the bloodstream and changes its chemistry so that it becomes more sticky, allowing clots to form that can squeeze shut already narrowed arteries.

This is in addition to the more subtle long-term damage to blood vessels themselves, making them more narrow. And no one knows how little it takes to trigger that clotting.

Dr Terry Pechacek of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this meant smoking a cigarette at a party could be enough to trigger a heart attack in someone whose arteries are silently clogged.

‘Too often people think the occasional social cigarette is not so dangerous, when in fact this report says yes, it is,’ he said.

The report also refers to the dangers of second-hand smoke. It noted that when Pueblo, Colorado, banned smoking in all public places in 2003, the number of people hospitalized for heart disease plummeted 41 per cent in just three years.

‘I advise people to try to avoid being around smoking any way that you can,’ Dr Benjamin said.

The report also includes the latest genetic findings to help explain why some people become more addicted and develop associated diseases quicker than others.

Nicotine expert Dr. K. Michael Cummings of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said: ‘How many reports more does Congress need to have to say that cigarettes as a class of products ought to be banned?

‘One-third of the patients who are in our hospital are here today because of cigarettes.’

Smoking kills around 106,000 people each year – which is the equivalent of one in five deaths in the UK.

It costs the NHS £5billion a year to treat associated diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease.

On a positive note stopping smoking at any stage will boost your health.

Dr Benjamin said: ‘It’s never too late to quit but the sooner you quit the better. Even if you’re 70, 80 years old and you’re a smoker, there’s still benefit from quitting.’

Via Daily Mail