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Your Body, Cigarette-Free

20 Minutes: Your Blood Pressure Drops

20 Minutes: Your Blood Pressure Drops

The nicotine in cigarettes decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood, and causes your arteries to constrict, meaning your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body. As a result, smoking causes a rise in blood pressure; high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease

After 20 minutes without a cigarette your heart rate drops and your blood pressure begins to return to normal levels. 

By Brittany Doohan. Published September 25, 2012. Brittany is a health and lifestyle writer and editor living in San Francisco, CA.