Yes, smoking can sometimes look cool and yes, Uncle John lived into his 90s and smoked a pack a day right up to the end. But we all know that cigarettes do nothing to improve our health, and generally cause a multitude of problems. So, what are the benefits of quitting?
Within weeks of quitting smoking, lung function begins to improve, leading to better overall respiratory health. There’s a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease because quitting smoking can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. We experience better overall health as quitting can lead to reduced risk of certain cancers, improved immune function, and better circulation. We note an improved sense of taste and smell due to regaining an ability to taste and smell food more effectively.
Quitting smoking can lower the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD, and asthma, not to mention it can lead to improvements in skin appearance, dental health, and overall physical appearance. There’s an increased life expectancy and quality which includes reduced anxiety, depression, and stress, as well as improved overall mental well-being. Quitting smoking can serve as a positive example for friends and family, encouraging them to consider their own smoking habits and potentially quit as well. And, last but not least, we mustn’t forget the financial benefits, as quitting smoking can lead to significant financial savings over time, as the cost of cigarettes adds up.
SO, HOW DOES THE BODY REACT STEP-BY-STEP WHEN YOU QUIT SMOKING?
1. Within 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
2. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal, and your oxygen levels increase.
3. Within 2 weeks to 3 months, your circulation improves, and your lung function increases.
4. Within 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease, as does your risk of lung infections.
5. Within 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker’s.
6. Within 5 years, your risk of stroke is the same as that of a non-smoker.
7. Within 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is about half that of a smoker’s, and your risk of other cancers decreases.
8. Within 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of a non-smoker’s.