The tar in cigarette smoke collects on the fingers and fingernails, staining them a yellowish-brown.
Smoking can damage blood vessel walls making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood to the hands and feet. In serious cases, this can lead to peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
PVD occurs when the arteries that carrry blood to your legs or arms become partially or totally blocked by the build up of fatty material on the artery wall. This may result in severe pain, especially when exercising. It can also lead to gangrene and amputation.
Quitting reduces your risk of developing PVD compared to a continuing smoker. Quitting slows down the worsening of PVD in those who have the disease. They live longer, have less pain and more likely to avoid amputation. The earlier you quit, the lower your risk of developing symptoms of PVD.