Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Regardless of how long you have been smoking or your age, quitting smoking can enhance your quality of life, improve your health status, and even add up to 10 years to your life expectancy. In this article, we will explore what happens to your body when you stop smoking and the health benefits of quitting smoking.
Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
The health benefits of quitting smoking are numerous, and they begin almost immediately after you quit. Some of the benefits include:
- Improved health status and quality of life
- Reduced risk of premature death and 10 years of increased life expectancy
- Lowered risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Lowered risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Lowered risk of 12 types of cancer, including lung, throat, stomach, liver, and bladder cancers
- Reduced risk of poor reproductive health outcomes
- Reduced financial burden on individuals, healthcare systems, and society
Even if you have been smoking heavily for many years, quitting smoking will benefit your health.
Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions you can take to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. When you quit smoking:
- You reduce the risk of disease and death from cardiovascular disease.
- You reduce markers of inflammation and hypercoagulability.
- You experience a rapid improvement in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels.
- You reduce the development of subclinical atherosclerosis and slow its progression over time.
- You reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, with risk falling sharply 1-2 years after cessation and then declining more slowly over the longer term.
- You reduce the risk of disease and death from stroke, with risk approaching that of never smokers after cessation.
- You reduce the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm, with risk reduction increasing with time since cessation.
- You may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, sudden cardiac death, heart failure, venous thromboembolism, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Respiratory Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking is also one of the most important actions you can take to reduce your risk for respiratory diseases. When you quit smoking:
- You reduce the risk of developing COPD.
- You slow the progression of COPD and reduce the loss of lung function over time, among those with COPD.
- You reduce respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sputum production, and wheezing.
- You reduce respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
- You may improve lung function, reduce symptoms, and improve treatment outcomes among persons with asthma.
Cancer-Related Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions you can take to reduce your risk for cancer. When you quit smoking, you reduce the risk of 12 different cancers, including:
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Cancer of the lung
- Colon and rectum
- Mouth and throat (oral cavity and pharynx)
- Voice box (larynx)
Reproductive Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions women who smoke can take for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. The best time for women to quit smoking is before they try to get pregnant, but quitting at any time during pregnancy can benefit mother and baby’s health. When you quit smoking:
Financial Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking is not just beneficial to your health but also to your finances. Smoking is an expensive habit that can quickly drain your bank account. When you quit smoking, you save money on cigarettes and other tobacco products. But the benefits of quitting smoking go beyond just the savings on cigarettes.
Quitting smoking saves money on healthcare costs, including medical visits, hospitalizations, and medications. reduces the risk of lost wages and productivity due to illness and disability. improves the health and well-being of family members and loved ones who may be impacted by secondhand smoke. reduces the risk of home fires and the need for fire insurance premiums.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important actions you can take to improve your health and quality of life. It is never too late to quit smoking, and the health benefits begin immediately after quitting. By quitting smoking, you reduce your risk of premature death, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, poor reproductive health outcomes, and many other adverse health effects. Quitting smoking also benefits your finances, as it saves money on healthcare costs and improves your earning potential by reducing lost wages and productivity. If you smoke, talk to your healthcare provider about strategies to help you quit smoking and begin your journey towards a healthier life.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.