Cigars, cigarettes, pipes, e-cigs, hookah…all are inhaled smoke tobacco products and are highly addictive.
When someone quits smoking, the effects on the body are sudden and impressive!
- Within 48 hours, all the carbon monoxide (CO) has left your body
- Within days, blood circulation will improve, heart rate and blood pressure lower **reducing your risk for heart attack
- Within 1 year, the risk for heart attack drops by up to 1/2
- Within 10 years, the risk for heart attack may drop to almost the same as a nonsmoker (particularly with good nutrition and physical activity routines)
But wait, there’s more! Other benefits of quitting make you feel (and look) Smokin’ —
- Clearer skin, less signs of aging
- Better hearing and vision
- Clean mouth
- Good smell
- May help reduce belly fat (particularly with good nutrition and activity)
- Heal quicker from injury and illnesses
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Helps with sexual function
So why wouldn’t someone quit? Bottom line, choosing to quit smoking is easy. Maintaining it is hard. From my experience working with smokers who are trying to quit, their #1 relapse reason is stress. It’s understandable. Smoking is a habit, and for many, it’s their stress relief or coping mechanism. Ironically, it also can cause undue stress in your life, particularly financial and medical.
Having a plan for how to deal with your stress is key when choosing to quit. I enjoy this website – Smokefree.gov – because is provides help based upon your age group, including support groups and online chat opportunities. There are plans for nutrition, exercise and stress and a section for friends and family members. If you are previous smoker, you can also help advocate and support others.
To your heart health,
Resources: https://smokefree.gov/, American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American College of Cardiology
Starr Cortner, M.S, MCHES, ACE, AFAA is a wellness specialist with over 16 years of experience in cardiovascular health and emergency medicine.