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Benefits of Quitting
2005, Health Canada – Healthy Living. The Benefits of Quitting
Almost everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, but do you know all the benefits of quitting? For the vast majority of smokers, quitting is the best single thing they can do to improve the length and quality of their lives. Persons who quit smoking immediately begin to reduce their chances of developing heart disease, cancer, breathing problems, or infections.
Former smokers also live longer than those who continue to smoke. For example, those who quit before the age of 50 have only half the chance of dying in the next 15 years compared with those who continue to smoke.
Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or early in their pregnancy reduce their chances of having a low birth weight baby. Quitting can also reduce the chances of stillbirth, early infant death, and improve the health of the woman.
Smoking Cessation Timeline
Within 8 hrs: Carbon monoxide level drops in your body. Oxygen levels in your blood increases to normal.
Within 48 hrs: Chances of having a heart attack start to go down. Senses of smell and taste begin to improve.
Within 72 hrs: Bronchial tubes relax making breathing easier. Lung capacity increases.
Within 2 wks to 3 mths: Circulation improves. Lung functioning increases up to 30%.
Within 6 mths: Coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness, and shortness of breath improve.
Within 1 yr: Risk of smoking-related heart attack is cut in half.
Within 10 yrs: Risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.
Within 15 yrs: Risk of dying from a heart attack is equal to a person who never smoked.
Does Every Smoker Benefit by Quitting?
The health benefits of quitting occur for all types of smokers, men and women, young and old. Even those who have developed smoking-related problems like heart disease can benefit. For example, compared to continuing smokers, individual who quit smoking after having a heart attack reduce their chances of having another heart attack by 50%. They also reduce their risk of dying prematurely by 50%.
What are the other benefits of quitting?
Although reducing your chances of premature death and illness is important, they are not the only benefits of quitting smoking. Think of the money you will save by not having to buy tobacco, lighters, ashtrays, matches, and so on.
The message is clear! It is never too late to quit smoking!
University of Western Ontario,
1151 Richmond Street, Suite 2, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5B8 · Tel: (519) 661-2111
Updated October 15, 2009 by Leave The Pack Behind
Leave The Pack Behind – Western University