By Hannah L. Scott
Advantages of Quitting Smoking
Smoking cessation has immediate health benefits, including decreased tobacco stains on teeth, improved lung health, and restored sense of taste and smell.
Photograph by Lukasz Jac (sxc.hu)
By Hannah L. Scott
OverviewQuitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to enhance your well-being and live a long, healthy life. The affects begin to show about 20 minutes after you put out your cigarette.HeartAccording to the American Heart Association, smokers are twice as likely to die from a heart attack as are nonsmokers. When you quit smoking, circulation increases, and the carbon monoxide and oxygen levels return to a normal state of operation. This affect shows up 20 minutes after your final smoking experience.LungsSmoking causes 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Just 2 months after you quit smoking, the functioning of the lungs improves almost 30 percent, according to the American Lung Association. Breathing becomes easier in times of stress, exercise and taking care of your children.CancerYour risk of getting cancer will lessen with each passing year. Smoking not only puts you in danger of getting lung cancer, but you also risk getting other forms of cancer as well, such as cancer of the mouth, larynx, stomach, throat, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, kidney and cervix.EyesightQuitting smoking will help keep your eye muscles from degenerating, so you will not have to worry about smoking-related blindness as you age.PregnancyWomen who quit smoking have a better chance of carrying their babies the full term. Women who smoke are more likely to have a miscarriage or have a baby with lower birth weight. Babies born with low birth weight may have physical handicaps, or they may not survive.Immediate AdvantagesQuit smoking now, and you will have immediate advantages. Your breath smells better to others, your teeth will appear whiter, your clothes will start to smell better as your sense of smell returns, yellow fingernails will go away, everyday activities will not leave you gasping for air, and foods and drinks will taste better, as your sense of taste returns to normal.ResourcesreferenceAmerican Cancer SocietyreferenceAmerican Lung AssociationreferenceAmerican Heart AssociationresourceAmerican Lung Association: Trend graphs (PDF)
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