Coronary Heart Disease & Tobacco Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions The heart gets its blood supply from the coronary arteries. When the coronary arteries become blocked, narrowed or completely obstructed, the heart cannot get the nutrients, fuel and oxygen it needs. This is known as coronary artery disease (CAD) and can lead to a heart attack. Coronary heart disease and stroke are the primary kinds of heart disease caused by smoking. Smoking causes heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 2,600 Americans die every day because of cardiovascular diseases – about one death every 33 seconds. Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers. Smoking has been linked with sudden cardiac death of all types in both men and women. In addition to heart disease, smoking doubles a person's risk for stroke. Cigarette smoking harms circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries). Smokers are more than 10 times more likely to develop peripheral vascular disease compared to nonsmokers. Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm. References National Jewish Health. Health Information: Conditions: Coronary Artery Disease. American Heart Association. Cigarette Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease. This information has been approved by Amy Lukowski, PsyD (August 2015).