If you’re a smoker, the idea of smoking can sound very idyllic, but when it comes to putting it into practice, it can feel hellish. From awful cravings that cause irritability to that feeling of relief after taking the first drag, it can be difficult to lose sight of why you’re quitting in the first place. However, the long-term benefits of quitting greatly outweigh the short-term feelings of pleasure that are evoked by smoking cigarettes. On top of the endless health advantages, you’ll also escape ashy breath, brown teeth, and yellow nails. As long as you keep your end goal in mind, you’ll surely succeed in kicking your smoking habit.
20 Minutes Without Smoking
Yes, that’s right. After only 20 minutes without a cigarette, your body will begin to reap the benefits. After this time alone, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop to reach normal levels. In turn, you will decrease your risk of suffering from heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, aortic aneurysms, kidney disease, and vascular dementia.
12 Hours Without Smoking
If you’re a regular smoker, 12 hours without a cigarette can feel like quite the milestone. This is made even more true when you come to realize that, after this time, the carbon monoxide levels in your bloodstream return to normal. Because of this, your heart rate will then return to normal, you’ll find it easier to exercise, and you’ll notice that you suffer from fewer headaches and visual distortions.
Two Weeks to Three Months Without Smoking
After this time, both your lung function and circulation improve, which means you’re less at risk of having a heart attack. On top of this, you’re also less likely to suffer from blood clots, infected skin ulcers, stroke, cardiovascular failure, and Type 2 diabetes.
One to Nine Months Without Smoking
Once you’ve made it this far, you’ll notice that you’re coughing less and breathing easier. This puts less strain on your lungs, which will reduce the likelihood of complications in the future.
One Year Without Smoking
After one whole year of becoming smoke-free, your risk of coronary heart disease is halved.
Two to Five Years Without Smoking
Upon reaching this milestone, you can be sure that your risk of throat, mouth, esophagus, and bladder cancers is also halved, meaning that you won’t have to undergo treatments such as MR-linac. On top of this, your risk of a stroke significantly decreases to that of a non-smoker.
10 Years Without Smoking
Once you haven’t smoked for 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is also halved. On top of this, you’re much less likely to suffer from pancreatic or kidney cancers.
15 Years Without Smoking
Upon reaching the 15-year mark, your risk of coronary heart disease returns to that of a non-smoker.
Ultimately, quitting smoking can add years to your life. In fact, smokers who quit before reaching 40 reduce the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by as much as 90%. Similarly, if you quit between the ages of 45 and 54, you reduce your risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by roughly two-thirds. You’ll find that you’re much safer from the likes of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, stroke, heart disease, as well as 13 kinds of cancer.
Not only do you save yourself from the detrimental effects of smoking, but you also rescue your loved ones from the horrors of second-hand smoke. As previously demonstrated, your body starts to heal itself in just 20 minutes after a cigarette, so start the healing process now. The immediate withdrawals will be though, but they’re a good sign, as they show that you’re healing.