Having trouble quitting smoking?
Keep a positive outlook! Concentrating on the benefits of cessation might just be the motivation you need.
Everybody knows smoking and using tobacco is bad for you, but do you know exactly how dangerous it is? It’s important to understand your risks, but there’s a lot more to it than frightening statistics. Let’s look at the upside.
Some benefits of quitting:
- You’ll be able to exercise or be physically active with less shortness of breath.
- Your clothes, hair, body, car and home will smell better.
- Your sense of taste and smell will return to normal.
- The stains on your teeth and fingernails will start to fade.
- You’ll save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Find out how much with this savings calculator(link opens in new window).
According to the American Heart Association and the U.S. surgeon general, this is how your body starts to recover when you quit smoking:
- In the first 20 minutes: your blood pressure and heart rate recover from the nicotine-induced spikes.
- After 12 hours: the carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal.
- After two weeks: your circulation and lung function begin to improve.
- After one to nine months: clear and deeper breathing gradually returns; you have less coughing and shortness of breath; you regain the ability to cough productively instead of hacking, which cleans your lungs and reduce your risk of infection.
- After one year: your risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50 percent.
- After 5 years: Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Your risk of cervical cancer and stroke return to normal.
- After 10 years: You are half as likely to die from lung cancer. Your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases.
- After 15 years: your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.
What about e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products?
No tobacco product is safe, and there’s no evidence that they can help you successfully quit smoking. They may be just as addictive and may contain dangerous levels of nicotine, chemicals, neurotoxins and metals. Talk with your doctor about safe and effective ways to quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Jan 9, 2017
Information obtained from American Heart Association: The Benefits of Quitting Smoking Now | American Heart Association
For more information and resources go to: Vaping - Quit Smoking - Tobacco | American Heart Association