The arterial endothelium is a vital homeostatic cell layer responsible for a variety of functions such as thromboresistance, control of vessel tone, and vessel growth. Recent evidence has indicated that both active and passive cigarette smoking are associated with dysfunction of normal endothelial physiology, in a dose dependent and potentially reversible way. Endothelial abnormalities may predispose to the atherogenic and thrombotic problems associated with cigarette smoking.
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