Holy smoke! The benefits of quitting smoking

GLENN ELLIS | 9/11/2017, 9:22 a.m.
Are you wondering why you’re still smoking cigarettes? You should be, unless you enjoy the taste of more than 7,000 ...
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If you’ve been a lifelong smoker, you might be thinking, “Why quit now when the damage is already done?” But even the oldest smokers can reap significant benefits from kicking the habit.

In as little as 20 minutes since smoking, your health will already improve. As nicotine increases your heart rate, less than 20 minutes since your last cigarette, your heart rate will decline to a normal level.

Beginning right around a month after being smoke free, your lungs will begin to repair themselves. Specifically, the cilia, the tiny hair like fibers that push mucus out of the lungs, begin to repair themselves to a level that they begin to function properly and will now be able to expel mucus, which will greatly reduce your chances of an infection. Another noticeable improvement will be a decrease in shortness of breath and coughing, and it will continue to decrease dramatically the longer you’ve quit. If you consider yourself a heavy smoker – one to two or more packs per day – no more than several months after quitting, your withdrawal symptoms will completely eradicate.

With a year of no smoking under your belt, your risk of heart disease has been lowered by a staggering 50 percent compared to when you were still smoking. Look at it like this: Whenever you see someone smoking, you will know that they are twice as likely as you to suffer from any type of heart disease.

With every cigarette, you are taking more and more time off your life. That’s less time you get to spend with your children, grandchildren, husband or wife. Your family likes you better when you are kicking and breathing, so don’t you think its time to put down that nasty habit?

On average, non-smokers live 14 years longer than smokers. If you’re still struggling to quit talk to your doctor about possible smoking cessation programs they recommend.

Remember, I’m not a doctor. I just sound like one.

Take good care of yourself and live the best life possible!


This column is for informational purposes only. If you have a medical condition or concern, please seek professional care from your doctor or other health professional. Glenn Ellis is a Health Advocacy Communications Specialist and is available through http://www.glennellis.com.