Arteries relax after smoking cessation, but it takes awhile

Smokers have stiffer arteries than nonsmokers, but whether smoking cessation might lead to reduced arterial stiffness was not known, until now.

Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland studied more than 550 adults with never-treated hypertension. They were classified as current smokers, ex-smokers, and nonsmokers. And the ex-smokers were further divided into 4 groups: less or greater than 1 year and less or greater than 10 years after smoking cessation.

In ex-smokers there was a significant relationship between the duration of smoking cessation and reduced artery stiffness.

  • Those who had quit smoking within the previous year had artery stiffness similar to smokers.
  • After a decade of not smoking, arterial stiffness became indistinguishable from non-smokers.

3/23/07 19:23 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.