Smoking Treatment

What are the benefits of quitting smoking?

A Answers (10)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered

    Cigarette smoke paralyzes the tiny hairs in your lungs whose job it is to keep your lungs clear. As soon as you stop smoking, those hairs begin to recover, allowing the cleaning system of your lungs to get back to work. The day after you quit smoking, your risk of surviving a heart attack doubles. A decade after you quit you will see a huge reduction in your risk of smoking-related health problems. Fifteen years after you have stopped smoking, your risk of lung cancer starts to approach that of a non-smoker.



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  • Here's what happens after you quit smoking:

    • 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
    • 12 hours after quitting, levels of carbon monoxide in your blood return to normal.
    • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, your heart attack risk begins to fall and lung function improves.
    • 1 to 9 months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
    • 1 year after quitting, the added risk of coronary heart disease is half of that of a smoker's.
    • 10 years after quitting, your lung cancer death rate is half of that of a smoker's.
    • 15 years after quitting, your coronary heart disease risk is the same as a nonsmoker's.
  • The good news is it’s never too late to quit smoking, and the benefits are numerous. Some benefits can be felt almost immediately; many last for years to come. Within 24 hours of quitting, the risk of heart attack decreases. Within three months, lung capacity increases up to 30%. At one year, many people report increased energy and decreased coughing and shortness of breath. By year five, the risk of heart attack, stroke and many cancers, is cut in half.
  • answered
    It is never too late to reap the benefits of giving up smoking. Quitting lowers your risk of serious complications from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, and blockages in your legs (peripheral artery disease).
    Stopping smoking promotes the following health benefits: 
    • The risk for a heart attack drops sharply after just 1 year.
    • Stroke risk can fall to about the same as a nonsmoker’s after just 2 to 5 years.
    • Risk for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder is cut in half after 5 years.
    • Risk for dying of lung cancer drops by half after 10 years.
    In short, those who quit smoking increase their likelihood of living a longer life. Plus, by quitting, you help protect those around you from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
  • AHealthyWomen answered
    The majority of smokers say they want to quit smoking, but it's a lot easier said than done. But it's worth the effort. Within the first few days, months and years of quitting, you'll notice a variety of benefits, from increased lung capacity to greatly reduced risks for heart disease and stroke.
  • Quitting tobacco is important for your health. For example, the tobacco in cigarettes contains over 4,000 chemicals, more than 100 of which are known toxins (poisons). But it's never too late to stop the damage tobacco does to your body. For example, look what happens when you put out your last cigarette:
    • Within minutes, your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal.
    • Within hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood will go down -- and the oxygen level will go up.
    • Within days, your ability to smell and taste will improve, and the yellow stains on your hands and teeth will fade.
    • Within several weeks to months, you'll start to breathe easier. Your smoker's cough will disappear, and you'll find that you're more clear-headed and energetic.
    • Within a year or two, your risk for heart disease, stroke, emphysema, and lung cancer will drop by up to 50%. Eventually, your risk for these diseases will be the same as if you had never smoked.
    You don't have to be vain to appreciate these benefits of quitting:
    • fewer wrinkles
    • no more stained teeth and fingers
    • better breath
    • clothes and hair that no longer smell of tobacco
    • no need to leave gatherings or work to smoke outside
    • no more worrying that people are put off by the smell in your home or car
  • AUCLA Health answered
    Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, lung cancer, peripheral arterial disease, emphysema and blood clots. By quitting smoking, you not only decrease your risk for all of these diseases but also increase your tolerance for more physical activity.
  • AJoAnne Foody, MD, Cardiology, answered on behalf of Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Putting Out Cigarette
    There are numerous benefits of quitting smoking. Look at the health improvements you can expect within the first year:

    • 20 minutes after quitting: Your blood pressure and heart rate will drop.
    • 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood will return to normal.
    • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation and lung function will improve.
    • 1 to 9 months after quitting: You’ll cough less and you’ll have less shortness of breath. Your lungs will be more able to handle mucus, clean themselves, and reduce your risk of infection.
    • 1 year after quitting: Your excess risk of heart disease will be half that of a smoker.

    And the benefits don’t stop there! Within several years your stroke and heart disease risk can equal that of a non-smoker’s and your risk of cancer will be dramatically reduced as well. You’ll also see immediate benefits in your everyday life:

    • Your breath will smell better.
    • Your teeth will get whiter.
    • Your clothes and hair will stop smelling of cigarette smoke.
    • Your yellow fingers and fingernails will disappear.
    • Your senses of smell and taste will improve.
    • Everyday activities – like climbing stairs or doing light housework – won’t leave you out of breath.
    • You’ll save money! Smoking is expensive. When you stop buying cigarettes, the payoff is big.

    The good news is that it’s never too late to quit. If you stop smoking, you’ll improve your health and reduce your long-term risks – and you’ll see immediate benefits, some within just a few hours! And the benefits don’t stop there - Within several years your stroke and heart disease risk can equal that of a non-smoker’s and your risk of cancer will be dramatically reduced as well.

    Putting Out Cigarette
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  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops. (Mahmud A, Feely J. Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification. Hypertension. 2003;41:183.)
    12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1988, p. 202)
    2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. 193, 194, 196, 285, 323)
    1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)
    1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
    5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
    10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who continues smoking. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease, too. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. vi, 131, 148, 152, 155, 164, 166)
    15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker's. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
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  • Nicotine is the psychoactive component, or the drug, which affects the brain in tobacco products, thus producing dependence. Most smokers are dependent on nicotine, and smokeless tobacco use may also lead to nicotine dependence. Research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Examples of nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and increased appetite. Quitting tobacco use is difficult and may require multiple attempts, as users often relapse because of withdrawal symptoms. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated intervention.

    Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body. Tobacco smoke carries more than 60 cancer-causing chemicals, tiny amounts of poisons such as arsenic and cyanide and more than 4,800 other substances, some of which may be harmful, to the human body. These toxins cause cell death, cell damage and cell mutation.

    The list of diseases caused by smoking has been expanded to include: abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, pneumonia, periodontitis, stomach cancer, cardiac diseases, lung diseases, and stroke. Smoking may also have a negative impact on the health of both unborn and newborn children.

    Stopping smoking may greatly reduce the risk of dying prematurely. Benefits may be greater for people who stop at earlier ages, but cessation is beneficial at all ages. Cessation may lower the risk for lung and other types of cancer. The risk for developing cancer declines with the number of years of smoking cessation. Risk for coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease is reduced after smoking cessation. Coronary heart disease risk may be substantially reduced within one to two years of cessation. Cessation may also reduce respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The rate of decline in lung function is slower among persons who quit smoking as compared with those who continue to smoke.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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