Smoking lowers ‘good cholesterol’

A molecular process in smoking-related heart disease has been linked to a chemical in cigarettes called benzo(a)pyrene, or BaP, and its effect on lowering “good” cholesterol.

BaP has been found to block production of the apo A-1 protein, which binds itself to cholesterol as it travels to the liver for disposal.

The finding provides a better understanding of the heart-toxic effects of smoking, and may provide a way to raise “good” cholesterol in combating heart disease.