The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of smoking on physical activity, walking capacity, and cardiovascular health in patients with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This cross-sectional study included 180 patients with symptomatic PAD. Patients were classified into 3 groups according to smoking history: smoker (n = 39), ex-smoker (n = 113), and never smoker (n = 28). Physical activity levels, physical function, walking capacity, and cardiovascular health parameters (clinical blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and heart rate variability) were assessed. Smoker patients presented higher sympathetic modulation to the heart (low frequency of heart rate variability: smokers, 71 ± 17 nu; ex-smokers, 53 ± 32 nu; never smokers, 49 ± 21 nu, P < .05) and sympathovagal balance (smokers: 2.44 ± 2.76, ex-smokers: 1.14 ± 1.74, never smokers: 1.04 ± 0.99, P < .05) and lower parasympathetic modulation to the heart (high frequency of heart rate variability: smokers, 29 ± 27 nu; ex-smokers, 47 ± 32 nu; never smokers, 51 ± 21 nu, P < .05) than other patients. In conclusion, nonsignificant differences were observed on physical activity levels, physical function, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness (P > .05). Smoking impairs cardiac autonomic modulation in patients with symptomatic PAD.