Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. Half of all long-term smokers will die of a smoking-related illness and smoking affects every organ in your body.
What happens to your body after quitting
• Within a month your immune system begins to show signs of recovery. |
• After two months your lungs will no longer be producing extra phlegm caused by smoking and blood flow to your hands and feet improve.
• After twelve months your blood pressure returns to normal.
• After ten years of stopping your risk of lung cancer is markedly lower than that of a continuing smoker and continues to decline (provided the disease is not already present).
• After fifteen years your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a person who has never smoked.
• Stopping smoking reduces your risk of developing, or worsening of, lung disease including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
• Over time, your sense of taste and smell will slowly improve
Financial benefits of quitting
• A pack a day smoker can save around $4,000 after one year of quitting.
• You’re less likely to suffer from some illnesses, which means fewer trips to the doctor, less money spent on medications and fewer sick days.
How smoking impacts your fitness
• Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen available to your muscles, which means they tire faster than normal.
• A study conducted at the National University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, found that regular smokers experienced a greater decline in physical fitness over the course of seven years than non-smokers. As the participants aged, the smokers saw an average decline of 217 joules per kilogram — a measure of energy density — whereas the non-smokers only saw a decline of 86 joules per kilogram. Smokers had less energy available to them, thereby affecting their fitness level.
• Call the Quitline on 13 7848 (13 QUIT)
The Quitline is a confidential telephone quitting information and advice service. Professional telephone advisors provide strategies and support to help you quit. They really understand how hard it is to give up smoking. And all this just for the cost of a local call (higher from mobiles).
• Go online with the Quit Coach
www.quitcoach.org.au is a free online tool giving ideas and suggestions that are relevant to you It does this after you have answered some questions about your lifestyle and your smoking. The Quit Coach can help you before, during and after you quit.
• Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or other health professional
Doctors and pharmacists are good sources of advice about quitting, especially for advice on quit smoking medications. You will need to see a doctor if you’re considering using prescription quitting medications.
It’s also important to see your doctor if you’ve suffered from a mental illness or are taking medication for one. If you have asthma, diabetes or other health problems it can be useful to discuss quitting with a health professional. See your doctor regularly while you’re quitting, and seek advice if you experience symptoms that worry you. The Quitline can also offer advice and support while you’re quitting
Special thanks to Luke Atkin of Quit for putting this article together for us and letting you know some great reasons and fantastic resources available to help you quit smoking.