For many people, the health benefits of quitting smoking serve as the biggest motivator for kicking the habit. There is no doubting the fact that smoking affects people's health in many different ways, and often smokers are driven to quit in order to alleviate these concerns.
The health benefits of quitting smoking start almost straight away, as after 20 minutes of not smoking blood pressure and the pulse rate decrease while the temperature in the extremities increases. After just eight hours of not smoking, carbon monoxide levels also go back to normal and the chances of a heart attack begin to decrease. The ability to taste and smell is also improved after a few days of not smoking.
After the first month or so of not smoking, some of the biggest and most noticeable health benefits of quitting smoking start to occur. These include:
- Improved lung function and capacity
- Increased circulation
- Physical addiction to nicotine broken
Although they are not as noticeable as some of the other health benefits of quitting, most of the important health improvements come in the years after quitting. After one year of stopping smoking the risk of a heart attack drops by half, while after up to fifteen years after stopping smoking:
- The stroke risk is reduced to that of people who never smoked
- The risk of lung cancer drops to half of that of smokers
- The risk of death and coronary heart disease is similar to those who have never smoked
After knowing these benefits of stopping smoking, will you decide to quit now?