Smoking rates are on the decline with more people becoming aware of its damaging health effects, but breaking the cycle of addiction can be difficult and daunting. We wanted to shed some light on the facts behind the humongous health benefits of quitting, hopefully giving you the motivation to curb those addictions.
Within the first 12 hours
As soon as 20 minutes after your last cigarette has been smoked, heart rate and blood pressure start to return to normal. Harmful byproducts from smoking, such as toxic carbon monoxide, start to be filtered from your bloodstream, in turn improving oxygen levels in the body.
Within the first 24 hours
Smoking elevates blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. After a 24-hour period, your risk of having a stroke lowers. As cigarettes also decrease levels of good cholesterol circulating, the risk of coronary heart disease decreases also after stopping. Physical activity will seem easier and more enjoyable, encouraging a further healthy active lifestyle.
Within the first week
Sense of smell and taste are heightened after 48 hours due to nerve endings responsible for experiencing senses starting to repair. In this time period, nicotine levels in the blood are also depleted. This is the period where smokers experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, moodiness, and cravings.
Within the first month
In as little as a month, your lungs start to heal, and coughing and shortness of breath are reduced. Lung capacity also improves with a noticeable difference in cardiovascular ability when performing physical exercise.
Within the first year
Lung health keeps on improving. The mucus defense mechanism lungs have against harmful microorganisms also becomes more effective, therefore lowing the rate of infection. Circulation and heart health also keep increasing, with the risk of coronary heart disease decreases by half!
Within 10 years
The chance of suffering from a number of diseases continues to reduce significantly. These include strokes, mouth cancer, throat cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Also, the risk of lung cancer drops to around half compared to someone who continues to smoke.
Within 20 years
You have leveled the playing field with the non-smokers now. The risk of death from all the previously mentioned diseases is the same as someone who has never smoked in their life. It’s a long journey to get here to improve health, but the struggle is worth it.