The Short Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking

If you are looking to quit smoking and you succeed, you will be improving your health dramatically and potentially saving your life. Although the long-term benefits of quitting are especially attractive, there are plenty of short-term benefits to quitting that can motivate you to decide to quit. 

According to the American Cancer Society, within minutes of smoking your last cigarette your body begins to recover:

20 minutes after quitting – your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

12 hours after quitting – the carbon monoxide levels in your blood drop back to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting – your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1 to 9 months after quitting – coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs start to regain normal function, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection. 

1 year after quitting – The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.

5 years after quitting – Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.

10 years after quitting – Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.

15 years after quitting – Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

There are even more benefits that you will notice right away, like all the money you can save that you used to spend on cigarettes, your food tastes better as your taste buds recover, your sense of smell returns to normal, your hair, breath and body smell better, your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing and ordinary activities leave you less out of breath. Quitting also helps stop the damaging effect of tobacco on how you look and it is much better if you can avoid premature wrinkling, gum disease and tooth decay. 

Unfortunately, illnesses that are caused by smoking remain as the world’s leading cause of preventable death. Smoking and tobacco use make up approximately 30% of all cancer deaths and nearly 90% of lung cancer deaths. 

If you are thinking of quitting, there are some great natural ways to quit. Most important is making the decision and once you have decided, stick with it! YOU CAN DO IT!


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