The Scoop On Smoking from ACSH: what every teen should know about tobacco
strokesub effects: 'brain attack', subarachnoid hemorrhage
A stroke occurs when something interferes with the blood's ability to circulate in the brain. This causes some brain cells to die, and it can result in permanent brain damage. People can die from strokes, and those who survive may have permanent problems, such as difficulty speaking or paralysis (an inability to move) on one side of the body.
The most common type of stroke is caused by a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain or neck. This kind of stroke is much like a heart attack, except that it occurs in the brain rather than the heart. Some experts like to call it a "brain attack," to emphasize the similarity between the two problems. Strokes of this type are an end result of atherosclerosis, just as heart attacks are.
There is another, less common type of stroke that is caused by bleeding in the brain.
Smoking increases the risk of the "brain attack" type of stroke, just as it does with heart attacks. In fact, smokers are about twice as likely as nonsmokers to have a stroke. About 24% of all strokes that occur in the U.S. population are due to smoking. People who smoke greater numbers of cigarettes have a higher risk of stroke than those who smoke fewer cigarettes.
The American Council on Science and Health is a consumer eduction consortium with a board of 350 physicians, scientists, and policy advisors.