The CDC reports that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for 1 in every 5 deaths, or more than 480,000 deaths every year. With an estimated 36.5 million adults in the United States currently smoking, the push to quit is higher than ever.
With medical professionals and even the government actively trying to spread the word, and encourage smokers to quit, statistics can be seen blowing up the internet, plastered on billboards and in our favorite magazines. Why, then, are so many adults reluctant to quit?
The truth is that quitting smoking is hard. It is estimated that 70% of smokers say they want to quit, but don’t, while only 7% of those who try are successful on their first attempt.
The key to successfully quitting is daily motivation to keep you focused and on track. Here is a list of health benefits, both immediate and long term, to quitting today!
- Within 20 Minutes: Your blood pressure will already have lowered to a normal level. This healthier level will encourage proper circulation to both your hands and feet.
- Within 8 Hours: The levels of deadly carbon monoxide gas in your blood stream has now been cut in half. This will allow oxygen to clear out irritants and harmful bacteria.
- Within 12 Hours: Your carbon monoxide levels have now dropped to normal, and your blood oxygen levels have risen to normal.
- Within 48 Hours: Your risk of heart attack has now been reduced drastically. The nicotine levels that were in your body have now been flushed clear of your system, and you will find that both your senses of smell and taste have been renewed.
- Within 3 Days: Breathing will be much easier now, and your bronchial tubes will have relaxed. You will be feeling increased energy, giving you a much needed boost in your quitting efforts.
- Within 2 Weeks: The blood circulation within your gums are now similar to that of someone who has never smoked.
- Within 4 Weeks: Many of the mental struggles related to quitting will have now passed, including anger, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia and restlessness.
- Within 2 Months: You will now be finding it significantly easier to walk, as your circulation has improved significantly. Your lung function will now have increased up to 30%.
- Within 3 Months: If you had a chronic cough, it has likely disappeared at this point in your journey. You will find your overall respiratory issues have been improving significantly.
- Within 9 Months: The fiber sin your bronchial tubes have begun to regrow, increasing your ability to handle mucus and clean your lungs of bacteria. This will allow you to see a significant decrease in respiratory infections. Any smoking related sinus congestion or shortness of breath has now decreased.
- Within 1 Year: You officially have returned to the energy levels of a non-smoker. Also, your risk of heart attack has now been cut in half.
- Within 5 Years: Your risk of stroke has now been reduced to that of a non-smoker.
- Within 10 Years: All 30+ chemicals found in tobacco have now been cleaned from your system. Your chances of lung cancer have now been reduced to that of a non-smoker.
- Within 15 Years: Your risk of suffering a major heart attack is now equal to that of an individual who has never smoked. You now have a healthy, functioning body, clean from the damages that tobacco and nicotine have previously caused.