According to groundbreaking new research, smokers who quit tobacco smoking before the age of 40 years enjoy a lifespan just about as much as people who never smoked. This post explains the proven benefits of stopping smoking and the timeline therein.

Smoking reduces your life by ten years, but if you quit before 40, you regain all the lost years. You could quit smoking on your own. Quite a lot of people have done it. But, if you cannot, there are effective aids that will help you to quit.

Many people take the help of nicotine replacement therapy, which involves the use of nicotine patches and gums. Some have taken the help of hypnotic therapy which also gives a good successive rate.

If you have been a smoker, you should know that smokers continue to be at risk of premature death, but the risk dies down significantly after quitting and remains small compared to the risk if you continued to smoke.

Quitting smoking or smoking cessation is the process of giving up the addictive habit of smoking. Here we talk about the habit of tobacco or cigarette smoking.  Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Most smokers want to stop smoking but few succeed and most don’t.

When you give up the smoking habit, it benefits your health immensely and over time these benefits are seen and felt.

The risks of minor and major health conditions start receding and you even start feeling better, your appearance improves and you become more acceptable to your family and society. Your finances improve and you have more money to spare.

You eat better, you sleep well and your performance in bed improves. You feel you are a new and better person.

However, it is difficult to quit smoking because the nicotine in tobacco makes a smoker very addicted to it. That’s the reason, people smoke. The difference between success and failure is the motivating willpower to quit.

A recent survey concluded that 15 million smokers try to give up smoking every day and only 3% succeed to give it up – for 3 to 12 months. About 38 million people in the United States have successfully quit smoking and 3 out of 4 smokers do say that they would like to stop smoking.

Why should you quit smoking? Benefits

As mentioned above, to succeed in giving up smoking, it is necessary to be strongly motivated. For this, you should know the benefits of stopping smoking and the adverse effects of smoking on health.

Besides the hole it unnecessarily burns in your pocket, the effects of smoking are disastrous from head to toe — literally.

The benefits of giving up permanently are explained here in short. Smoking cessation becomes necessary when you realize that smoking adversely affects your health and leads to serious complications. Some major benefits of stopping smoking for good are described below. The risk of all the dangers mentioned below gets reversed dramatically.

Benefits of stopping smoking on the brain

Smoking doubles your risk of stroke. It also reduces the brain function involved in cognition.  When you stop smoking the risk of stroke is dramatically reduced.

Additionally, it also boosts your mental health and well-being, besides improving mood and helping relieve stress and anxiety. Within a couple of months, your brain chemistry fully regains balance after quitting

Benefits on lungs

The habitual smoker invariably suffers from chronic bronchitis. He frequently suffers from colds and coughs. Furthermore, he becomes a potential candidate for emphysema, bronchial asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The risk of lung cancer looms large. 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from COPD are due to smoking tobacco.

When you quit smoking,

  • It reduces respiratory symptoms such as colds, coughs, sputum production, and wheezing.
  • The symptoms of respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia, and COPD improve.
  • Your lung function improves
  • It improves the effectiveness of treatment among persons with asthma.

Reduces cancer risk

Tobacco smoke contains more than 50 carcinogens. Smoking is strongly associated with cancer. Statistics have proven that.

Smoking can cause cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, and pancreas. The heavier the smoker, the greater the risk.

The greatest risk of cancer among smokers is cancer of the lungs. When you stop smoking, the added risk of lung cancer drops by half after 10-15 years.

Smoking cessation reduces the risk of different types of cancer, including lung, larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum, liver, cervix, kidney, and acute myeloid leukemia

Benefits of smoking cessation on the heart and the cardiovascular system

By its action on the arteries, smoking increases the load on the heart, which can lead to a heart attack. By this same action, it can cause peripheral vascular disease and possibly gangrene in the peripheral parts of the extremities.

No matter how much or how long you’ve smoked, quitting smoking will improve the condition of your heart and blood vessels.

Secondly. if you already have coronary heart disease, smoking cessation significantly lowers your risk of another heart attack or dying from heart disease.

Furthermore, when you quit smoking, it

Benefits on the digestive system

The inhaled cigarette smoke that goes into the stomach inflames the gastric and esophageal lining. Smoking also raises the risk of bacterial infection from Helicobacter pylori. It also increases stomach acid secretion. All this can cause heartburn and GERD. It puts the smoker at a high risk of developing ulcers.

Smoking also causes inflammation in the small and large intestines, which can lead to chronic diarrhea and Crohn’s disease.

Quitting smoking may help reduce all of the gut problems and reverse the damage done to the digestive system. Your gut develops healthy intestinal flora, your digestion improves, and helps in the proper evacuation of the bowels to get rid of toxins from the body.

Benefits on skin

Smoking continuously deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients. That is why some smokers look pale.

The skin can absorb the nicotine you have inhaled from cigarettes. This causes undesirable effects such as premature skin aging and delayed wound healing.

It also increases the risk of increased skin infections and diseases like psoriasis, acne, eczema, and skin cancer.

The toxins in cigarette smoke damage collagen and elastin. This causes the skin to wrinkle prematurely and makes it look sallow giving it an aged look.

When you stop smoking, increased blood flow will make your complexion look less grey and pale. This is one of the most noticeable differences in your skin before and after quitting smoking.

Your risk of developing skin diseases reduces significantly. As your skin gets more nutrients and oxygen, your face complexion improves and appears brighter with a healthy glow.

Stop smoking is one of the prime recommended tips by experts for improving your skin complexion.

Benefits to the reproductive system

Chronic smokers, both men, and women suffer from fertility problems. Men develop erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, and reduced motility, while women find it difficult to conceive due to ovulation problems. Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage.

And you involuntarily harm those around you such as your family members and colleagues who are exposed to your secondhand smoke and its dangers, which again increases their risk of serious health disorders.

When you give up smoking, it benefits not only you but also your loved ones. You should read the linked article above to know how your smoking harms other people who do not smoke.

Quitting smoking benefits and how they accrue? Timeline

Quitting smoking timeline simply tells you of the benefits of quitting smoking come about over progressive periods.

When you give up smoking, your health starts to benefit as early as 20 minutes after your last smoke. And with time, these benefits build up and the ill effects that smoking has caused on your health start to fade away. The following are the benefits of quitting smoking period-wise.

After 20 minutes

  • Blood pressure and heart rate that were increased, start dropping.
  • The body temperature starts increasing.

After 8 hours

  • Oxygen levels in the blood return to normal.

After 12 to 24 hours (1 day)

  • Carbon monoxide blood levels, which were increased drop to normal.

After 48 hours (2 days)

  • Nerve endings start to regrow.
  • Smell and taste sensations that were suppressed, come back to normal.
  • Nicotine is eliminated from the body.

After 72 hours (3 days)

  • The bronchi (airways) relax and breathing becomes more comfortable.

After one month

Within one month, the damaged lungs begin to improve. Lung capacity increases and so does stamina for aerobic activities such as running and swimming.

After 2 to 3 months

  • Blood circulation improves
  • Coughing and wheezing decrease
  • Phlegm reduces
  • Lung function further starts to improve.

4 to 9 months after quitting

  • There is a progressive and significant improvement in lung function.
  • The function of cilia (lining of airways) improves leading to decongestion of the chest.
  • A cough and shortness of breath decrease significantly.

1 year after giving up

  • The risk of ischemic heart disease ( heart attack, angina) reduces by 50%.

5 years after smoke-free breathing

  • Chances of getting a stroke reduce as much as that of a nonsmoker.
  • The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is reduced by 50%.
  • Risk of cervical cancer is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.

10 years after quitting

  • The risk of cancer and ulcer drop significantly.
  • However, the risk of lung cancer still stays higher than that of a nonsmoker.

After 15 years

  • The risk of lung cancer decreases to that of a nonsmoker.
  • And, the risk of heart disease and death equals that of a nonsmoker.

What to learn from all this?

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. The withdrawal symptoms after stopping make it difficult. But the benefits of giving up tobacco mentioned above are so great that overcoming the withdrawal manifestations with sheer stubbornness is not impossible.

As seen above, benefits start as early as 20 minutes after quitting and go on to accrue as late as 15 years after quitting.

These benefits of stopping smoking are documented and a result of years of study and research. They are bona fide and should act as an immovable motivation to quit smoking.