Smokers have been warned that their habit could end up costing an arm and a leg, as the risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is 16 times greater.
According to campaigners, awareness of PAD, which affects the circulation of blood in the main arteries, was low.
Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) has published a report highlighting the consequences of the disease which is mainly caused by smoking.
The habit narrows the arteries, making it more difficult for blood to reach some parts of the body.
Though this can sometimes lead to amputations, the greatest risk for people with PAD is a heart attack or stroke, reports 4Channel News.
Deborah Arnott, director of Ash, said: "Quite literally, smoking can cost an arm and a leg if people with arterial disease don't stop smoking.
"Despite the fact that thousands of people are diagnosed with this disorder every year, PAD is a little understood consequence of smoking.
"Doctors and health professionals should warn patients who smoke of the risk of arterial disease and offer them advice on ways to quit."
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said: "It affects all arteries in the body, so people who smoke are risking the blood supply to all of their vital organs.
"Loss of blood supply leads to death of part or all of that organ, so that in the brain it causes strokes and in the heart it causes heart attacks, both of which are sudden and may be fatal, informs the Mail.
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