Smoking and Physical Activity

  • Smoking keeps you from reaching your highest level of athletic performance.
    • Smoking slows your reaction time.
    • Smoking lessens your stamina.
  • Smoking causes coughing and shortness of breath.
  • Smoking decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of your blood.
    • This causes the heart to work harder and increases your heart rate.
    • The muscles have less oxygen and don’t function as well.
  • People who smoke have more colds, sore throats and respiratory infections each year.
  • Smoking delays healing of many common sports injuries.
  • Smoking during the teenage years, slows the rate that the lungs grow.
  • Smoking during adolescence causes deficits in lung function consistent with early signs of obstructive airway disease.


Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Research and Data: Factsheets: Smoking and Decreased Physical Performance. Available at: