Reasons to Quit: When Smokers Quit—Their Health Benefits Over Time

  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
  • (Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification, Mahmud, A, Feely, J. 2003. Hypertension:41:183.)
  • 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, p. 202)
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp.193, 194,196, 285, 323)
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)
  • 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
  • 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker
  • 5 to 15 years after quitting. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
  • 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 131, 148, 152, 155, 164,166)
  • 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s. (US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, p. vi)
  • $$$HOW MUCH DOES IT COST YOU?$$$ Smoking affects your LOOKS, your WALLET & your HEALTH!

We know the hazards of “Second-hand Smoke”. Now experts are educating the masses about “Third-hand Smoke”? That is the residual toxins from cigarettes that are left on drapes, furniture, carpeting, clothes, inside vehicles, etc. Remember this the next time you walk into a hotel room that reeks of smoke from the previous visitor!

So many of my clients are concerned with weight gain when they are ready to give up the smoking habit. FYI…I also incorporate weight management into my scripts for smoking cessation to ensure that my clients do not turn to food and begin overeating once they become non-smokers. The focus is on replacing addictive behaviors with new healthy life choices.

Authored by: Eugenia Karahalias

Eugenia E. Karahalias is a holistic mental health therapist who incorporates the body, mind, spirit approach into her healing modalities.

“I am all about body, mind and spirit. I call myself a Lifestyle Modification Expert. My goal is to help individuals get unstuck so that they can push past their blocks to unleash their full potential. I utilize a myriad of tools to facilitate this process.”

Eugenia currently specializes in the treatment of addictions, anxiety, bereavement, depression, improving performance, pain management, PTSD, phobias, relaxation & stress management and trauma utilizing a myriad of tools from the following disciplines: Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW-R), Credentialed Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy (CCH), EMDR II Specialist (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing), Reiki Master & Magnified Healing Teacher & Practitioner Phase III. Offices located in Amityville and West Babylon, NY.

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