Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can cigarette smokers donate blood?"
I want to donate blood because a blood transfusion saved my grandfather?s life. I?m 24 and I smoke about a pack of cigarettes everyday. Can I still donate blood if I?m a moderate smoker?
First of all, thank you for for considering donating blood. As you probably know, the blood supply in the United States relies entirely on the generosity of donors like you in order to be able to provide this life saving resource to patients in need. There are a few reasons that you might not be able to donate blood. These include if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of malaria, if you are feeling ill or have a fever, or if you are anemic. However, cigarette smoking is not usually a reason to be disqualified from donating blood (unless it is raising your blood pressure very high, which it sometimes does). When you go to the blood donation center, they will give you a questionnaire to determine you are eligible to donate and, assuming you are, the entire donation process should take you less than one hour. If you have more questions about donating blood, ask your primary care doctor who will be happy to discuss it with you. I also recommend that you discuss quitting smoking with your primary care doctor. Good luck!
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