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Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Everyone knows smoking is bad for your help, but some may not realize the full benefits of quitting smoking. There are so many benefits of quitting smoking that contribute to your overall health and quality of life. Knowing these benefits can be motivation toward quitting smoking.
There are some smokers that may believe that once they have smoked for any length of time that the damage has already been done and that it may be pointless to try and quit. However, this is not the case. By quitting smoking as soon as possible the smoker may be helping themselves gain years of life and avoid life-threatening illnesses. There are many short-term as well as long-term effects that provide the benefits of quitting smoking. In fact, medical experts have found that the benefits to quitting smoking begin just minutes after a person's last cigarette. Those smokers who are able to quit before they turn 51 actually cut their chances of dying within the next 15 years in half compared to people who continue to smoke. Smokers who stop in their sixties are still able to increase their life expectancy by one year. When a person quits smoking, the person is more likely to life longer and in better health than they would have otherwise.
The short-term benefits of quitting smoking:
These benefits can occur literally 20 minutes after a person's last cigarette including blood pressure reduction, lower pulse rate and the temperature of the person's hands and feet. In the next eight hours after a person quits smoking, the blood begins to recover from the effects of smoking because the carbon monoxide and oxygen in the bloodstream is able to return to normal. After the following 24 hours, the chance of a heart attack decreases because the body's system repairs itself. In the next two days, nerve endings that were deadened by the habit have begun to regenerate and the person's sense of taste and smell has also improved. In the next few weeks, the person's circulation improves and the lungs are once again beginning to function better. This is why walking and exercising becomes so much easier. After the next few months, the phlegm production decreases and any former smokers will find themselves coughing and wheezing less and less. There are also the cosmetic benefits to quitting smoking including better hair, nails, teeth, body and clothes smell as well as better breath.
The long-term benefits of quitting smoking:
Quitting smoking may seem like a difficult challenge in the first few weeks after making that commitment to quit, however, examining the long-term benefits of quitting smoking should make all of that effort, pain and control worth it. After just the first year of quitting smoking a person's excess risk of suffering coronary heart disease has already decreased to half of the risk faced by one that continues to smoke. In the next five years, the former smoker's chances of having a stroke has decreased compared to those who continue to smoke and will continue to decrease in the coming years. In 10 years, one of the most dangerous smoking diseases, lung cancer, is now at half of the risk for former smokers compared to those who never quit smoking. People who quit smoking experience other triumphs as well including decreased risk of ulcers as well as other cancers like mouth, throat, esophagus, pancreas, kidney and bladder cancer. In 15 years after quitting smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease is now comparable to that of people who never smoked a cigarette. The risk of dying is also back to the same levels as non-smokers.
In addition to just the health benefits, there are other benefits to not smoking like spending less money on cigarettes. Each year with higher and higher taxes on cigarettes, this bad and unhealthy habit is costing smokers upwards into the thousands of dollars each year. Realizing the savings to your health as well as your bank account is just another reason to add to the list of benefits of quitting smoking. There are many ways to go about quitting smoking including support groups, online support, staying away from people who are smoking, finding other ways to manage stress and eliminating habits you associate with smoking like drinking alcohol and caffeine. There are also quitting smoking aids like the nicotine patch and gum. While these are not tools that can be used by pregnant teens and women because of the still harmful effects to the baby, they can be beneficial to others who need help quitting. Millions of people are able to quit smoking each year using these tools and tactics. It is best to find the most effective way to quit that works for you and stick to the plan to save yourself more time and quality of life.
Sources: webmd.com, everydayhealth.com, whyquit.com
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