Time to Quit Smoking

This pandemic has significantly altered our lifestyles. Although adapting to these changes has been tough, making one more would improve your health immediately: quitting smoking.

Quitting is easier said than done, but you’re not alone. Smokers who seek help and/or medication to quit are up to three times more likely to succeed. Downloading a smoking cessation app on your smartphone like SmokeFree, buying nicotine gum, and/or committing to quit with friends are great places to start.

The benefits of quitting smoking start almost immediately after your last cigarette.

  • 20 Minutes After Quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 Hours After Quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 Months After Quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs (called cilia) start to regain normal function in your lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 Year After Quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.
  • 5 Years After Quitting: Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.
  • 10 Years After Quitting: Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. Your risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 Years After Quitting: Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

 Benefits of Quitting That You’ll Notice Almost Immediately

  • Food tastes better.
  • Your sense of smell returns to normal.
  • Your breath, hair, and clothes smell better.
  • Your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing.
  • Ordinary activities leave you less out of breath (for example, climbing stairs or light housework).
  • You can be in smoke-free buildings without having to go outside to smoke.
  • Quitting also helps stop the damaging effects of tobacco on how you look, including premature wrinkling of your skin, gum disease, and tooth loss.
  • You’ll save the money you spent on tobacco!

Tips for Quitting

  • Find a plan that best fits you
  • Set a date
  • Remind yourself why you’re quitting
  • Avoid activities or places that make you want to smoke
  • Make it public
  • Ask about programs to help you quit
  • Don't give up: Slips are often part of the process
  • Celebrate small successes

Even smokeless tobacco products like vapes or e-cigarettes are health hazards. Consider signing up for Become an Ex if you want to find a community targeted towards those who vape.

Take the first step: make TODAY your last day as a smoker!

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