Due to the chemical nicotine – which is present in cigarettes, cigars and pipes – smoking can affect many parts of the body other than the lungs. This includes the hands and upper extremities. First, nicotine can make existing hand conditions worse. Two examples of this are:
- Broken bones: A broken bone (fracture) can have more trouble healing in people who smoke. If you break your hand, wrist or arm, the fracture may not even heal.
- Dupuytren’s Contracture: This is a common condition that causes fingers to permanently bend into the palm, making it impossible to straighten the fingers. It may be more common in smokers.