Having trouble quitting smoking? Keep a positive outlook! Concentrating on the benefits of quitting might just be the motivation you need.
Everybody knows smoking and using tobacco is bad for you, but do you know exactly how dangerous it is? It’s important to understand your risks, but there’s a lot more to it than frightening statistics. Let’s look at the upside.
Here are some benefits of quitting:
- You’ll be able to exercise or be physically active with less shortness of breath.
- Your clothes, hair, body, car and home will smell better.
- Your sense of taste and smell will return to normal.
- The stains on your teeth and fingernails will start to fade.
- You’ll save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Find out how much with this savings calculator(link opens in new window).
According to the American Heart Association and the U.S. Surgeon General, this is how your body starts to recover when you quit smoking:
- In the first 20 minutes, your blood pressure and heart rate drop from the nicotine-induced spikes.
- After several days, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal.
- After two weeks, your circulation and lung function begin to improve.
- From one to 12 months, clear and deeper breathing gradually returns; you have less coughing and shortness of breath; you regain the ability to cough productively instead of hacking, which cleans your lungs and reduces your risk of infection.
- After three to six years: your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50%.
- After five to 10 years, your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and voice box is cut in half. Your risk of stroke also decreases.
- After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer drops by 50%. Your risk of cancer of the bladder, esophagus and kidneys also decrease.
- After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is almost the same as a non-smoker’s.
What about e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products?
No tobacco product is safe, and there’s no evidence that they can help you quit smoking. They may be just as addictive and may contain dangerous levels of nicotine, chemicals, neurotoxins and metals. Talk with your health care professional about safe and effective ways to quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.