The health benefits from quitting smoking begin as early as 20 minutes from the time a smoker has had their last cigarette. It is never too late to quit and in fact, the earlier a smoker makes this important decision, the sooner their health (and wallet) can benefit.
Quitting smoking is an arduous task and there exists several methods for going about the process. There is no guaranteed method for quitting and the existing methods have varying success rates. If there is one thing that is undeniable, it is the long lasting health benefits that smokers can enjoy, if they maintain and follow an effective program.
Smoking tobacco poses huge respiratory and cardiovascular risks to the human body. As such, quitting smoking will provide excellent benefits for the heart and lungs in the long-term. Some immediate and long-term health benefits include:
Between 20 Minutes and 2 Weeks:
Blood pressure decreases, pulse rate drops, body temperature of hands and feet increase, carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal, oxygen level in blood increases to normal, chance of heart attack decreases, never endings begin regrowth, ability to smell and taste improves.
Between 2 Weeks and 3 Months:
Circulation improves, walking becomes easier, lung function increases.
After 1 Year:
Excess risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker after one year.
After 2 Years:
In addition to the health benefits enjoyed before, a 2 year tobacco-free individual will have a considerably high success rate for a permanent quit.
Between 5 to 15 Years:
Stroke risk is reduced to that of people who have never smoked in their life, risk of lung cancer drops to as little as one-half that of continuing smokers, risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases, risk of ulcers decrease, risk of coronary heart disease is now similar to that of people who have never smoked, risk of death returns to nearly the level of people who have never smoked in their life.
The health benefits from smoking cessation are clear; the longer an ex-smoker abstains from smoking, the better their health improves with time. Yet, the challenge of permanently quitting and the low success rates for quitting are alone quite discouraging.