In this blood pressure experiments, I used a home blood pressure monitor (upper arm cuff), to measure my blood pressure before, during and after smoking a large cigar. I took readings every 5 minutes or so, to see if smoking would cause changes to my blood pressure.
Incidentally, I am not a doctor. These experiments are for my own curiosity, and I do not recommend you do the same.
Here are my results:
|STARTED SMOKING THE CIGAR AT THIS POINT|
|FINISHED SMOKING CIGAR HERE|
Here is the chart of this data:
While the graph may not look too impressive, you can see a large jump in blood pressure almost immediately. Before starting to smoke the cigar, the average blood pressure for the three preceding readings was 133/83. The first reading after starting to smoke was 149/92. That's quite a jump.
The initial increase in blood pressure is spectacularly quick. Not surprising really, as smoke enters our bodies through the thin membranes of the lungs, as well as through the membranes in our mouth. This is why smokers can get a neat instant “hit” when they light up.
Blood pressure is raised for about 20 minutes before it returns back down to a more normal reading (that's normal for me). When there is a stimulus to increase blood pressure, our bodies are going to try to combat that increase and lower the blood pressure. In this case it took about 20 minutes for my body to do so. Blood pressure then remained fairly constant for the remainder of the experiment.
It would be interesting to see how blood pressure would be affected if I continued to smoke all day (as in a chain smoker), and whether my body could compensate over a long period of time. I wont, however, be doing that experiment ;o)
Look out for new experiments soon. If you want to buy a blood pressure monitor, the one I recommend is this one from Amazon: