Cigarette smoking is the leading self-inflicted risk factor for cardiovascular diseases; it causes arterial stiffening with serious sequelea including atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysms. This work presents a new interpretation of arterial stiffening caused by smoking based on data published for rat pulmonary arteries. A structurally motivated ‘‘four fiber family’’ constitutive relation was used to fit the available biaxial data and associated best-fit values of material parameters were estimated using multivariate nonlinear regression. Results suggested that arterial stiffening caused by smoking was reflected by consistent increase in an elastin-associated parameter and moreover by marked increase in the collagen-associated parameters. That is, we suggest that arterial stiffening due to cigarette smoking appears to be isotropic, which may allow simpler phenomenological models to capture these effects using a single stiffening parameter similar to the approach in isotropic continuum damage mechanics. There is a pressing need, however, for more detailed histological information coupled with more complete biaxial mechanical data for a broader range of systemic arteries.