The list of problems caused by tobacco is long, but so is the list of benefits from quitting! If you’re thinking about trying to quit, read on.
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for one of every five deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So living a longer and healthier life is one huge benefit of quitting.
The great thing about quitting is that you start to see the benefits almost immediately — from your body’s vital signs to the money saved in your wallet. For example:
- Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your blood pressure and heart rate drop.
- Within 12 hours of quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal, according to the American Cancer Society.
- About two weeks to three months after quitting, your risk of heart attack begins to drop and your lung function improves, according to the CDC.
- Between one month to nine months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- Here’s more good news. Within a year of quitting, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.
- Five to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker.
- Ten years after quitting, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who still smokes. Your risk of developing cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas also decreases.
- About 15 years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.
- When you quit using tobacco, your sense of smell and taste will improve.
- Many people who kicked the habit say they also have a lot more energy without their tobacco addiction.
- You’ll look better, too. Blood flow improves after you quit smoking, so your skin gets more oxygen and nutrients. This leads to a healthier complexion.
- Quitting smoking can even make you look younger. Smoking decreases the skin’s elasticity, leading to sagging and wrinkles — especially around the lips and eyes. And if you don’t smoke, you are less likely to develop age spots.
- A recent study of twins showed how smoking ages a person’s face differently. Check out these photos to see how quitting sooner or not ever smoking can lead to a more youthful appearance.
- Another perk of quitting is that the tobacco stains on your fingers and nails will begin to disappear. Your clothes, home and car will smell better, too.
- Here’s something else to smile about. Your teeth will brighten when you quit using tobacco. Tobacco users commonly get yellowing teeth, bad breath and other oral hygiene problems that can be avoided or reduced by kicking the habit. This is especially true for people who use smokeless tobacco, like chew or snuff.
- You might even enjoy a better sex life after quitting smoking. That’s because men who smoke may experience reduced blood flow which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
- Cutting out tobacco means you will save a lot of money that can be used for something else you enjoy. For example, if you smoke a pack a day and quit now, you will save more than $2,000 in a year. Try this cigarette calculator to see how much money you could start saving if you quit now.
The American Lung Association estimates that 50 million adults have successfully quit smoking: Become one of them by quitting today!