The health benefits of quitting smoking continue to be the subject of focus as World Health Organization(WHO) and other well-meaning institutions and organizations worldwide commemorate “World No Tobacco Day” today.
The essence as from the inception has remained to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.
Are there immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting for all smokers?
Beneficial health changes that take place:
Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
2-12 weeks, your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker’s.
5 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
10 years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.
15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.
Can people of all ages who have already developed smoking-related health problems still benefit from quitting?
Benefits in comparison with those who continued:
At about 30: gain almost 10 years of life expectancy.
At about 40: gain 9 years of life expectancy.
At about 50: gain 6 years of life expectancy.
At about 60: gain 3 years of life expectancy.
After the onset of life-threatening disease: rapid benefit, people who quit smoking after having a heart attack reduce their chances of having another heart attack by 50%.
How does quitting smoking affect children who are exposed to second-hand smoke?
Quitting smoking decreases the excess risk of many diseases related to second-hand smoke in children, such as respiratory diseases (e.g., asthma) and ear infections.
Are there any other benefits to quitting smoking?
Quitting smoking reduces the chances of impotence, having difficulty getting pregnant, having premature births, babies with low birth weights and miscarriage.