The health benefits of stopping smoking
As soon as you stop smokingyour health starts improving
It’s not just your lungs that recover when you quit…
- your sense of smell and taste improve
- your blood pressure drops and your arteries widen (reducing your chance of suffering a stroke)
- your risk of heart disease drops
- you’re less likely to get cancer of various types
Here’s what happens after you stub out your last cigarette:
AFTER 20 MINUTES
Your pulse and heart rate drop as soon as you’ve finished your last cigarette. Your blood pressure starts to return to normal.
AFTER 12 HOURS
Your body’s carbon monoxide levels return to normal and your oxygen levels increase.
AFTER 1 DAY
As your blood pressure drops your circulation improves. You’ve already reduced your risk of heart disease from high blood pressure caused by smoking.
The first week
AFTER 2 DAYS
Receptors in your nerves begin to heal and your sense of taste and smell will be back to normal.
AFTER 3 DAYS
Your body is now free of nicotine and your energy levels will have increased.
TIMELESS BENEFITS:REDUCED STRESS
Studies show people’s stress levels are lower after they stop smoking.
If you find that you’re prone to stress, replacing smoking with a healthier, better way of dealing with stress can give you some real benefits.
The first month
AFTER 2 WEEKS
Your circulation starts to improve, as does your lung function. This in turn makes physical activity, including walking and running, easier.
Your immune system also starts to improve, so you can fight off colds and flu.
You might also find you don’t feel as tired, and that you get fewer headaches.
FROM 1 MONTH
You’ll start to cough less and not find yourself as short of breath as when you smoked.
Lung capacity improves by up to 10% within 9 months.
THINKING OF STARTING A FAMILY
Smoking is associated with lots of complications around sex and fertility.
When you stop smoking, as a man you’re less likely to suffer impotence; as a woman, you reduce the chance of having difficulty getting pregnant, and you reduce the risk of miscarriage. You also reduce the chance of your baby being born prematurely or with a low birth weight.
And onwards into your future as a non-smoker
AFTER 1 YEAR
Your risk of coronary heart disease is halved compared to when you were a smoker.
People who quit smoking after having a heart attack reduce their chances of having another heart attack by 50%.
AFTER 5 YEARS
As far as risk of stroke is concerned, you’re approaching the same level as a nonsmoker.
AFTER 10 YEARS
Your risk of lung cancer is halved.
Similarly, you’ve now reduced your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder and cervix, as well as your risk of contracting diseases of the pancreas.
AFTER 15 YEARS
Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker’s.
We asked ex-smokers what they thought the best thing was about quitting:
If you live or work in County Durham and you want to stop smoking, fill out the form and our friendly team will get in touch with you.
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Call Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm
Or text DURHAM to 62277
(texts are free)
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