Cigars and High Blood Pressure

I have been smoking on an average 3-5 cigars a day for about 10 years. Before that I was a cigarette smoker for 20 years.

I recently discovered that my blood pressure level was very high 211 over 110. That’s at a hypertension critical level where I’m at risk of a stroke or heart failure. I immediately checked into ER and got it treated. Thankfully, no issues were reported on the tests they ran, cat scan, ekg, blood and urine test. I am working now with a cardiologist to figure out the root cause. I’m otherwise healthy, actively play racquetball twice a week, not overweight and no stress in my life. So what caused this? I think it’s the nicotine.

My system somehow can’t handle it. I’ve been testing this out for a few days now. In the morning after my breakfast, I checked my bp, it was 132/83. I was feeling great. I then smoked half a cigar, checked 10 minutes later and it was 175/93. Slight headache and short breaths had returned, that’s something I have gotten used to with smoking cigars. One hour later, it’s better at 148/82. If cigars truly are the root cause then I have no choice but to quit or only smoke occasionally.

Anyone else have similar experience with cigars? Would love to hear from you. 
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Comments

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 7,627 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nope.
    Quite the opposite for me.

    So you are saying that you, all the sudden, have higher blood pressure and you think it's the cigars. Well, then you should quit smoking cigars.

    If you are gonna panic every time you smoke cigars, then you aren't enjoying the time, so you should quit.
    There is no crisis that a good cigar can't cure.

    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,219 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very unfortunate stuff sorry to hear. That said I would gather more data and as @0patience Said, can you tell if it is your worry that is causing it to spike or is it the actual cigar itself. If you do conclusively price it’s cigars then I’d agree that it’s best to quit. If it’s rather a psychological issue of the fear and worry that’s causing it then finding a healthy way to deal with that would be a better answer and still allow you to enjoy your cigars. Best of luck and hope it works out. 
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • RnavalRnaval Posts: 4
    I have no worries at all, so my BP is not related to stress. I’m still not done with the additional tests ordered by my cardiologist, so will know more in a few weeks.

  • deadmandeadman Midland, NCPosts: 2,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    20 plus years you should have a good tolerance for nicotine built up. Maybe slack off on smoking but get more testing.
  • Captain_CallCaptain_Call Cambridge NebraskaPosts: 1,147 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm also the opposite. My blood pressure spiked when I quit dipping wet snuff. Replaced it with smoking 2 or 3 times a week and it settled back down. 
  • ForMudForMud Aka; Quickdraw, Clayton, DelawarePosts: 767 ✭✭✭✭✭
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8354027

    Peter is trying to kill everyone on here with a one two punch!!!

    Teddy Roosevelt is right.....

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  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hey

    This topic rings my bell. I smoke on avg four or five a week. Avoid doctors like the money grubbing plague that they are. Play handball thrice a week. Blurry vision has hampered my game for some time now. Went to the dentist last month. They take BP before drilling (no idea why). The gal says "wow that's high". I glance over & see 244 over 145. When I come home, I fire up the wife's cuff and get similar. Google up high BP & blurry vision -- I get articles about stroke. Drop by the local MedExpress to get some BP pills to tide me over until I can get an appt with a cardiologist. I knew I was in trouble when the doc strolls in asking "Who drove you here?" I answered "No. I am absolutely NOT going to the ER down the road here." Our local hosp is rated the nation's worst delay. Here's the sign on the patient entry door
     at the ER:



    Here's an example:

    My old lady went to MedExpress with severe chest probs. They bundled her into an ambulance which toted her down the road to Christiana. ER put her on a rolling bed & set that bed in the hall. Eleven hours later, I fetched her home outta the hall. Nothing had been done. Not a single godammit. Next day, took her to St. Francis downtown. Here's the sign on their door:


    Left her off at the outside door. Feller there jumped right out and took her by the elbow to walk her in. I drove round the circle and parked at the first slot in the parking lot. Walked back forty yards to the door. They already had her in a room... drawing blood, EKG cart gal waiting at the door, X-ray cart gal in line behind her. I schidt you not. That fast. Faster'n I could park. Had her in a room upstairs within the hour. Pulmonary embolism. No **** around. She was in a hospital bed before the gal came in to take the insurance info! That's the SAINT part of "St. Francis". Makes you want to go eat a cracker, for God's sake.

    Christiana has a buttload of money. Constantly building huge new wings -- cancer, maternity, research, etc. etc. So much bucks they bought up three other local hospitals and built a new one mid-state. Bought up Wilminton hosp, for instance, and turned it into a knee & hip replacement assembly line. Swear to god -- the whole building. Got all kindsa bucks. What they don't have? They don't have a saint.

    So anyhoo, back to the subject, I told the doc they need to stop sending people down the road, cause that hosp ER does not work. Made me sign a paper but would not help.

    When I came home, I cancelled handball, began yoga breathing, have not sparked a gar since. That home remedy knocked my numbers down 30 points, top & bottom. Got a fistful of pills about a week ago. They knocked my numbers down another 20. Typical readings now might look more like 170/110. Echo cardiogram scheduled this afternoon. An atrial fibrillation appears to be (pardon the expression) at the heart of the matter. So...

    Once things settle down, I plan to start experimenting with the gar angle. Let me know how it works out for you.

    I will say this: my readings will differ dramatically time to time. Even if I fire off three readings within five minutes, they may be 10 or 20 points apart. Swings depending what the afib is doing, according to the cariologist. The heart rate varies a bunch too.

    Here's three inside 5 minutes on Tuesday:

    174/108
    148/94
    172/105

    So take the average of several readings. It's not engraved in stone.
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)



    Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism; complete with witch hunts funny outfits and humorless preachers thundering doom. The Deity is Safety; Satan is a Lawyer; but the object is the same: to suck the life out of life and tell you how to live it.
  • BKDogBKDog NE PAPosts: 158 ✭✭✭✭
    Dude, how much water do you drink daily? And what about fruit/vegetables? If you want a sure method to significantly DROP nicotine levels in your blood, drink clean, pure water and eat fruit and vegetables daily. Personally, I hate eating fruit and only like to eat some vegetables, so I got a juicer and I drink them.

    I do know that not everybody is the same. Some folks can smoke like a chimney and be fine, eat all kinds of diabetes, but other folks are like Barney Rubble trouble magnets.


    Does anybody know a good masseuse? *ouch*
  • RnavalRnaval Posts: 4
    I’m also focusing on eating right, so trying to limit sodium, salt and sugar intake. Increase intake of vegetables, Increasing exercise to a daily routine. I’m 58 by the way. Drinking water is another good suggestion that I will take up. My alcohol intake is minimal, just 1 glass of wine daily so not too bad.

    I don’t really know how long I’ve had this reaction to cigars, but I hope to find a way to keep smoking cigars (maybe to a much less amount) and keep my bp down to a reasonable level.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 6,361 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good luck to you in your efforts to stay healthy. This reminds me that I don't know exactly how much, or how little nicotine is in the cigars I smoke. I have some personal experience with my reaction to certain cigars, but if there were a way to know the milligrams of nicotine (by weight) expected of each blend, that might help those who have a need to make decisions about nicotine intake. As far as I know there is no stats or data on this.   
  • silvermousesilvermouse Cape CodPosts: 4,633 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nic decreases as tobacco ages, so it would be difficult to put a number on nic content.
  • jlmartajlmarta 50 miles from ParadisePosts: 6,534 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Haven’t seen anyone mention the topic of inhaling. We all know we’re not supposed to inhale cigars but we also know there are still some folks out there who do it. 

    Do any of you guys with the BP problems inhale what you’re smoking?
  • BKDogBKDog NE PAPosts: 158 ✭✭✭✭
    I would also suggest hitting a sauna as frequently as you can, to detoxify. Just as a precaution, some people with heart conditions probably should not use a sauna, but seek medical advice if there's any doubt. I'm fortunate to have a simple sauna at home, but one day I will build a nice, sturdy one. When lived in Europe I had the luxury of one nearby and it was pretty fantastic. Mine will do for now, it can maintain 100F and that's decent enough for my morning routine right after my elliptical workout and fruit salad.

    It gets easier once you get into a routine. Just like dieting, you've got to stick with it or it doesn't work. Something like 95% of people who diet gain weight back eventually because they didn't make it a permanent routine. Change your routine, you change your life for good.
    Does anybody know a good masseuse? *ouch*
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 6,361 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nic decreases as tobacco ages, so it would be difficult to put a number on nic content.
    True. You'd have to measure it at time of production and then the aging would be guesswork. Too much variation I suppose. That's another disincentive to produce this info. Plus, I think I'm the only one who's ever wanted to know so, wishful thinking. 
  • deadmandeadman Midland, NCPosts: 2,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bob_Luken said:
    Nic decreases as tobacco ages, so it would be difficult to put a number on nic content.
    True. You'd have to measure it at time of production and then the aging would be guesswork. Too much variation I suppose. That's another disincentive to produce this info. Plus, I think I'm the only one who's ever wanted to know so, wishful thinking. 
    Don’t give the FDA any ideas
  • ForMudForMud Aka; Quickdraw, Clayton, DelawarePosts: 767 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I had great service at Christiana Hospital.... 14 stitches in my arm and out the door in less than an hour and a two and half week stay when I almost lost a leg.
    That was back in the 90's and I haven't set foot in there since. 
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 7,627 ✭✭✭✭✭
    webmost said:
    Here's the sign on the patient entry door
     at the ER:




    That sign would make me immediately turn around and go somewhere else.
    Mostly because verbal abuse can be interpreted a thousand different ways and just the tone of your voice could be considered abuse by some people.
    And when some moron sticks you 20 times trying to find the vein to draw blood, a person's patience can be pushed to it's limit.
    There is no crisis that a good cigar can't cure.

    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 4,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The wife has been there three times; twice by ambulance. Only once was she treated at all. After eight hours neglect in the hall, they finally took her to a little room, then admitted her. It was next day, time she got in. I forget, frankly, what her deal was that time. Hey, I took her there myself, one time, During her all day wait in the hall, I saw an elderly woman with a compound fracture. Ankle all bandaged up & bloody. Stalled in the hall in front of the X-ray room. After a bit, I asked the X-ray gal why did she have to wait in the hall? "I'm waiting for her file to come from the front desk." I asked: "Do you want ME to go fetch it?" Like 40 yards away. What does she do? Shuts the door to the X-ray room. It's a culture of neglect. Later, they wheeled another old gal into the hallway next rolling bed down from my wife. Poor old woman kept complaining "If I don't get my medication. I'm going to have a seizure." Everyone who walked by "If I don't get my medication. I'm going to have a seizure." Lab techs. Nurses. The cleaning lady "If I don't get my medication. I'm going to have a seizure." Cleaning lady didn't speak enough English to understand... but at least she went to fetch someone. Did not return. Guess what eventually happened? Seized up. There was a wall button. One of the bed occupants in the hall pushed it. Nothing. I sauntered up to the desk, where about half a dozen heartless cretins were swapping jokes and scribbling on clipboards. I let them know in no uncertain terms. There's a mini cop shop right there beside that desk, handy to enforce their edict posted on the door. When one of the cops came over looking at me intently, I stopped him with: "Don't worry, I'm leaving. I can't watch this. I just want you to consider for the rest of your shift: That could be your grandmother down the hall there. What's it feel like for Grandma's brain to seize up? Sparks going off inside her head? She warned everyone. Nobody would do anything. And they still won't come? That could be your grandmother, officer." Out I went. Cell-phoned the wife & said "You're on your own."

    What's wrong with these people? Is that what they went into medicine for?

    It's not just me. This place is notorious. Their excuse, of course, is that "we have all these poor people coming in with the flu." OK, well, you know that. Part of the job. Saint Francis is within walking distance of several downtown slums. You go in the ER door, there's a door to a MedExpress on your left. That's their solution. Gave the clinic a space right beside the ER. Simple. You got the boogernose, you got a sore throat, your child has fever, go thru that door, It ain't rocket surgery. Got a problem, fix it. A nasty sign is not a fix.

    All this is way off topic. Sorry. These people just steam me up.

    Pressure this morning 191 over 89. Then I jumped onto this rant. Now it's 202 over 114. I need a gar and a Penn State win. Tons of projects today: mow the lawns (if it dries off), fix the toilet seat that refuses to bolt down tight, get the window AC units out of the windows and into the attic, take my coin rolls to the bank (coin jug had collected about $350 in pocket change). Right now, gonna take the RedHead out to breakfast (we have a new great-grandbaby & she will need to show me facebook pictures). Get back, I'll clean up the smoking porch. Have to roll a couple gars, too. I find that handiwork is super good for reducing the BP. That, and Modelo Especial. 

    So let us know, anyone who experiments, how or whether gars affect your BP prob.
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)



    Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism; complete with witch hunts funny outfits and humorless preachers thundering doom. The Deity is Safety; Satan is a Lawyer; but the object is the same: to suck the life out of life and tell you how to live it.
  • Sketch6995Sketch6995 Grand Junction Co.Posts: 4,201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have high blood pressure and always have, insurance companies have denied me coverage for as long as I can remember because of it.
    I had to pay cash for the pills until Obamacare.  Now for the first time in my life I dont have to pay cash.
    Cigars dont seem to have any effect on my BP so long as I take my meds everyday.  But I only smoke between 1 and 3.  And usually only 2 
    The higher.......the fewer.  ( Alexander Rozhenko)

     What you can't forgive......you will become.
  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 4,876 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mine's been ~140/90, and for the last several years, creeping up a couple points every year.  I knew the day was coming to start the meds, and this year's physical when it showed 155/100 I finally gave in.  I check it at home and know I definitely suffer from 'white-coat syndrome' where it's always higher at the doc's office but decided there's no good reason to keep putting it off.  I take Losartan, and so far it's dropped the numbers about 15pts. and the doc is happy - I'm happy because there are no apparent side effects.

    It'll be a good experiment to check my BP before and after a stick... good luck on my brain remembering to check it tho'.
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • deadmandeadman Midland, NCPosts: 2,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 20
    At 32 mine got up to170/120, all stress. I try not to give a fvck now as much. Typically 130/110 now
  • Sketch6995Sketch6995 Grand Junction Co.Posts: 4,201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    With my pills I'm usually around 145/90
    But when I drink 2 triple shot lattes it's much higher lol.
    The higher.......the fewer.  ( Alexander Rozhenko)

     What you can't forgive......you will become.
  • YaksterYakster I forgot the coffee filtersPosts: 6,059 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 20
    Try smaller milk drinks with a single shot, espresso macchiato, cortado, Gibraltar, picollo, short cappuccino that'll give you the same strong coffee flavor.

    I should find my BP cuff now that I've had three 14g straight shots and a cigar for breakfast.
    I'll gladly bomb you Tuesday for an Opus today.

                 Join me on the Android vHerf (from link in Evernote on Android) or iOS vHerf Link -Chris
  • CalvinAndHoboCalvinAndHobo ChicagoPosts: 493 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm on the low end myself, 110/60 with a resting heart rate of 52 last time I checked. I'm sure it's mostly being young and very active but I don't eat out very much at all and that's where all the salt gets thrown in without your knowledge.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 7,627 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My blood pressure is 108/68, so I'm the wrong person to even comment on something like this, but......
    Things like thistle tea or hibiscus tea have been known to help blood pressure.
    There is no crisis that a good cigar can't cure.

    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • jd50aejd50ae Posts: 6,417 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My blood pressure has been 120/80 for years, on hypertension meds.
    Smoke 3 to 5 a day.
    I eat a lot of fruit. And veggies, usually left overs in some kind of soup, stew or in some sort of Campbells(?) with rice or noodles.
    I will eat beef all day if given the chance.
    I drink a lot of well water, tested to be better then(than?) the store bought stuff.
    Been using fake salt for years. 2 slices of Sara lee bread a day.
    2 cups (mugs) of coffee every morning.
    Go through a lot of tuna fish, bread eating goes up accordingly.
    No exercise, I am lazy and suffer peripheral neuropathy.
    Sleep 6 to 8 hours every night. A few of really no sleeping naps but relaxing.
    My dogs have a very calming affect(effect?) on me. Everyone should have a pet.
    I take the time a few times a day to take slow deep breaths in the nose out the mouth, very relaxing.
    I use a home on the rest BP monitor 3 times a day, keep a log and it goes to the doctor when I do.
  • RnavalRnaval Posts: 4
    Jd50ae - your bp of 120/80 is excellent, what was it before you were put on hypertension meds?

    After reading everyone’s feedback and also monitoring my bp daily for the last week, I’m finding out that cigars may only temporarily spike the bp by 10-20 points as in my case. Caffeine and feeling hungry also spike my bp a little. As per my cardiologist, high bp is a silent killer and reducing High bp requires a lifestyle change which is what I’m actively doing.

    I’ve completely cut out salt, sodium and sugar in my diet and taken up moderate exercise every 2 days. Instead of sugar, I’ve switched to date syrup, instead of white bread, I switched to Dave’s Killer Bread, it’s very low sodium. I’ve switched from red meats to salmon, It’s high in Omega-3. I’ve added fruits, flax seed and avocados to my diet along with a green juice every day. I’ve also cut down to one cigar a day.

    I’m on a total health kick and my bp is at 130/80 now and hope to come off the high bp medication someday.
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,219 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 21
    Congrats and glad you are getting results and it’s working out for you. Due to my multiple health conditions, new stomach and GI issues and to help lose weight I’m now on a extremely restrictive diet. Look up FODMAP diet and that’s what I’m on now. Big lifestyle change but should have pretty good results if I stick to it diligently which I plan to. Supposed to drop 10-15 pounds in 2 weeks and then more in the first month. I’m at 195lbs right now and looking to drop to 170 or 175 in the next several months I hope. Should help my weight, GI issues, and overall pain management and inflammation. 
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
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