Skip to main content
(212) 523-4706 Contact
How Smoking Leads to Venous Insufficiency New York, NY

How Smoking Leads to Venous Insufficiency

a smoking man

The arteries carry blood away from the heart, whereas the veins bring the blood back to the heart. Blood gathers in veins if it is not delivered back to the heart. When blood flow via veins is insufficient or unhealthy, it causes venous insufficiency.

Blood clots and varicose veins cause venous insufficiency, resulting in blood “pooling” in the legs. Lifestyle choices, like smoking, play a significant role in the development of varicose veins.

Ways Smoking Affects Veins

Vasoconstriction (narrowing of the veins) is an immediate result of smoking. Over time, this leads to irreversible changes in the venous linings that increase vein muscle tone. In addition, narrow veins make gravity against blood flow to the heart more difficult. Thus, blood pools in these hardened veins, causing varicosities.

In addition, the carbon monoxide and tar in cigarette smoke damage the veins. Carbon monoxide lowers blood oxygen, which can inflame and damage veins. Plus, the body releases infection-fighting white blood cells to eliminate the irritating chemicals, generating free radicals. These free radicals are associated with further vein inflammation, resulting in varicose changes.

Nicotine’s Harmful Effects on Your Veins

When you smoke, your body acquires a dependency on nicotine. It’s a stimulant that speeds up the heart’s rhythm, raises blood pressure and shrinks the arteries. Nicotine also causes fat and cholesterol to be released into the bloodstream, resulting in artery hardening.

Smoking is an Unnecessary and Avoidable Risk

Factors like genetics, age and menopause are unavoidable risk factors. Smoking, on the other hand, is avoidable. In fact, quitting smoking and establishing an exercise regimen can even reverse some vein damage.

For example, suppose you stop smoking and start cardiovascular exercises involving your calves regularly. In that case, you will improve blood circulation through constricted veins, reducing venous insufficiency symptoms and improving your legs’ appearance.

Suppose you are a smoker with varicose veins and are experiencing symptoms such as discomfort, numbness, discoloration and changes in the skin around the veins. In that case, you should consult your doctor or a vein expert like Dr. Benvenisty about treatment options.

There are numerous programs and drugs available to help you kick the habit. Therefore, to prevent your situation from getting worse, you must consult with a vein specialist to determine the best strategy for your situation. Please contact us for further information and to schedule a consultation today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Alan Benvenisty

440 West 114th St, Second Floor
New York, NY 10025

Phone: (212) 523-4706

Monday & Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Our Patient Reviews

Dr. Alan I. Benvensity MD

4.9 / 5.0

Based on 10 reviews

Max P.

Dr. Benvenisty is very professional and thorough. Listens to his patients and truly cares. Fantastic doctor and lovely staff

Andrew C.

Could not have asked for more. Genuinely passionate, skilled and cares about his patients.

Yossi S.

A doctor who gives the best care to his patients and treats the disease with best care and great staff.

Renata B.

Dr. Benvenisty was excellent and helped us with my husband's extensive leg swelling related to diabetes. We had another specialist who didn't help us last year. We're planning to stay with Dr. Benvenisty now! He's detailed oriented, matter-of-fact and friendly. An excellent doctor I would strongly recommend.


Dr. Benvenisty treated my mother in the ER during this time of the covid outbreak. He was a part of a fantastic team of doctors that were brought in to find out what was ailing my mother. He is first and for most experienced in many areas as my mother was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Although he transferred the surgery to another member of his team, he gave me his mobile and kept me informed of her condition/diagnosis at a time where I was unable to be with her myself because of this pandemic. His heart, compassion, understanding and bedside manner are things that I will not ever forget. He is an excellent doctor and truly a great human being.

Howard L.

Dr. Benvenisty is the most caring physician that I know. He is brilliant, highly ethical and trustworthy. His knowledge extends well beyond his specialty. He makes referrals to the best possible physicians. I know Dr. Benvenisty for 25 years and have complete confidence in him.

Write a review

Contact Dr. Benvenisty

Call us (212) 523-4706
Your Visit with Dr. Benvenisty

Contact Us

440 West 114th St, Second Floor
New York, NY 10025

(212) 523-4706

Monday & Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM