Thursday, February 5, 2009

Benefits of Quitting

 Updated 3/2017-- photo and all links (except to my own posts) removed as many no longer active. and it was easier than checking each one.

This post is for Trauma Junkie, Surviving RT School,  who has recently quit smoking (applauding you) and is starting a new carnival, A Source of Inspiration.   The first edition is planned for Friday, February 13th.  You have to love this logo (photo credit)!

Yes, it may be difficult to quit smoking, but the health benefits are many.  So I would encourage you to halt your habit/kick your addiction to cigarettes. 
Mark Twain said, "Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times."
It often takes more than one try (maybe more than a thousand) to actually quit smoking, but it will be worth the effort. 
No matter how old you are or how long you've smoked, quitting can help you live longer and be healthier.  You will heal quicker.  Your skin will age slower.  If you stop smoking before age 50, you can  cut your risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who keep smoking.
If you are a young woman who wants to have children, you can reduce the risk of having a low birth-weight baby by quitting smoking before or during the first 3-4 months of pregnancy.  The act of quitting smoking will improve not just your health, but that of your child.

Immediate Health Benefits of Quitting
Here are some of the benefits that you will notice right away if you stop smoking. 
  • your breath will smell better
  • your stained teeth get whiter
  • your clothes and hair will smell better
  • the yellow stains on your fingers and fingernails will disappear
  • food will begin to taste better
  • your sense of smell will return to normal

Benefits to Your Health Over Time
These are improvements you will notice to your health over time if you remain smoke free.
20 minutes after quitting:
Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
12 hours after quitting:
The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting:
Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
1 to 9 months after quitting:
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
Risk of lung infection goes down.
1 year after quitting:
The excess risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
5 years after quitting:
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
10 years after quitting:
The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's.
The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease, too.
15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker's.

An additional benefit is cost savings.  Smoking is expensive and becoming more so as states continue to increase the sales taxes on cigarettes.

American Cancer Society

Other articles of interest:
Memorial to Virginia Johnson
Smoking:  Become a Quitter
Arkansas Proposes 56 Cents Increase in Cigarette Tax


Unknown said...

Good advice.
I actually thought that the title of the post was "Benefits of Quilting" and I started thinking to myself "talk about it all you want, I can't sew worth a darn." I'd end up with bloody nubs of fingertips from all the needle sticks.

rlbates said...

White Coat, eventually you get callused fingertips or learn to use thimbles. :)

Anonymous said...

I understand that it's really important to give people a sense that quitting really matters. I get that.

But it would comfort me as a lifelong non-smoker to think that my choice also mattered. I dunno if that makes sense, but I read articles like this and think, hey, I could smoke and give it up and get this insta-benefit. I know it's not really like that, but it sort of feels like that...

Anonymous said...

breast cancser is a very alarming disease.. WE SHOULD TAKE CARE OUR SELF...........

Anonymous said...

well heart disease is a very alarming disease we should take care our self

Unknown said...


Thanks for this post. It means a lot to me. It definitely hasn't been easy to quit, but I can definitely say that I will never go back to that point in which I was timing my next cigarette the second I put one out. It was awful...and to think of the health effects...I just hope I quit soon enough.

Sorry I didn't catch this sooner. Thanks for the mention of the carnival and all.

Anonymous said...

There are certainly a lot of reasons to quit. Recent studies have shown that smokers are more likely to quit it they believe that it is having a negative impact on their children (or even their PETS) rather than themselves. Another thing to realize is that smoking is also a psychological addiction. Failure to address this is the reason that most attempts to quit result aren't successful.