Benefits of stopping smoking

November 12, 2012

Benefits of stopping smoking

It’s easy to find all of the problems with smoking, the increased risk of dying of cancer or heart disease but did you know that as soon as you stop smoking your chances of dying of any of these diseases begins to fall. The chance of developing some conditions actually returns to that of non smokers over time! It has been clearly documented that smoking subjects your body to numerous carcinogens and chemicals which causes over 80% of deaths from lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema (chronic breathing difficulty). Of all the heart disease fatalities, 25% are smokers. However if you stop today your risks of getting these diseases begins to decrease.

The benefits actually start pretty quickly. After 20 minutes blood pressure and pulse match a non smoker. At the eight hour point nicotine and carbon monoxide within the blood are down to 50% and you have normal oxygen levels. After only 24 hours your lungs are starting to clear and all the carbon monoxide previously in your body is gone. At the 48 hour point you are free of nicotine and taste and smell is returning. One day after that your energy level is beginning to increase, the bronchial tubes are relaxing and you can breathe more easily.

Depending on your body, your circulation improves after between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Between 3 months and 9 months you will see a 10% increase in lung function. All the related coughing and wheezing is now getting better too.

All other benefits are long term but within a year the risk of heart attack will only be 50% of a continuing smoker. Lung cancer risks will drop to half that of a smoker within 10 years. But the best bit of news is left until the end. Being a non smoker for 15 years means that your risk of having a heart attack is the same exactly the same as a person who has never smoked.

It’s not only the smoker that is affected by the habit, those around are also affected. It is well documented just how dangerous second hand smoke can be. Passive smokers increase the risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease or strokes too. It’s a hazard because second hand smoke contains more than 50 chemicals which are known to cause cancer, but there are 4,000 other chemicals present too.

If children are subjected to second hand smoke it increases the risk of contracting chest illnesses. This can be asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia or croup. Ear infections can become more common too. Children whose parents smoke in the home also have three times the risk of developing lung cancer in later life compared with children whose home is smoke free.

Even after reading all of the above some people still question if they could stop smoking. They know that it’s unhealthy, expensive, leaves them smelling and will probably shorten their life and it makes them hazardous to be around when they smoke. It’s hard to find a part of your body that is not affected negatively by smoking. And some just ask if they can cut down. When you are dealing with an addiction it is all or nothing. You can’t be partly addicted. In the long term stopping is the only answer. Others think that putting on a few pounds if they stop smoking is a good enough reason to not try to stop. Just try to do some exercise when you’re trying to stop smoking and try to eat healthily. You can always lose weight later on.

Category: Articles