When you quit smoking, your body begins to undergo a series of changes as it starts to repair the damage caused by smoking. Some of the changes that occur include:
- Blood circulation improves: Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your heart rate, and blood pressure drop. Within a year, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker.
- Lung function improves: Within three months of quitting smoking, lung function improves, making it easier to breathe.
- Sense of smell and taste improve: Within two to three weeks of quitting smoking, your sense of smell and taste improves.
- Coughing and shortness of breath decrease: Within three months of quitting smoking, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- Reduced risk of cancer: The risk of lung cancer decreases by half within ten years of quitting smoking, and the risk of other types of cancer, such as larynx and bladder cancer, also decreases.
- Improved skin and hair: Within two to four weeks of quitting smoking, your skin and hair begin to look healthier.
- Increased energy levels: Within a few weeks of quitting smoking, you may find that you have more energy and endurance.
- Reduced risk of lung diseases: After 15 years of not smoking, your risk of lung diseases such as COPD and emphysema is similar to that of a non-smoker.
It’s important to keep in mind that quitting smoking can be difficult and may take several attempts, but the benefits to your health are well worth it. Many people find that a combination of medication, counseling, and support groups can help them quit smoking successfully.
What Are the Dangers of Continuing to Smoke?
Smoking poses many serious health risks, including lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease.
Additionally, smoking can cause damage to nearly every organ in the body and can lead to various types of cancer and other chronic illnesses.
It can also harm the health of those around smokers through secondhand smoke.
Additionally, smoking can also have serious social and economic consequences, including decreased productivity, increased healthcare costs, and lost income due to illness or death.
Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risks of these negative health outcomes.
Resources to Stop Smoking
There are many resources available to help individuals quit smoking, including:
- Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT): This includes products such as patches, gum, and lozenges that can help curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Medications: Some prescription medications, such as bupropion and varenicline, can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Counseling: Talking to a therapist or counselor can help individuals understand and cope with their addiction to nicotine, as well as identify and overcome triggers for smoking.
- Support groups: Joining a support group can provide individuals with a sense of community and a network of people who understand the challenges of quitting smoking.
- Quitline: Many countries have a quitline, which is a helpline that provides information, advice, and support to help people quit smoking.
- Online resources: There are many websites and apps that provide information, support, and tools to help people quit smoking, such as smokefree.gov, quit.com, and quit Genius.