Peripheral Arterial Disease Fact sheet
Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different types of chemicals. Every time you inhale tobacco smoke, many of these chemicals enter your blood stream and are carried around your body.
These chemicals make the walls of blood vessels (arteries)
harden and they make blood cells sticky, which allows cholesterol
and other dangerous fatty material to build up inside the
This build-up starts to clog the arteries and, together with the
hardened artery walls, makes it more difficult for blood to flow
through, especially when a greater blood flow is needed, for
example during exercise. This can lead to a condition known as
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Another term is Peripheral
Vascular Disease (PVD).
Did you know…
- Gangrene always leads to amputation
- Smoking is one of the main causes of Peripheral Arterial
- Smoking is responsible for at least half of the cases of PAD
affecting the lower limbs.
- More than 500 Australians die every year from PAD caused by
- In Australia, more than 10,000 hospital admissions for
treatment of PAD are due to smoking.
- Every year, around 600 amputations are performed on people with
- More than one person a day in Australia suffers the loss of a
leg or foot because they smoked.