Nobody will argue that smoking is good for you. While we know that cigarettes aren’t the only cause of lung cancer, smoking them definitely ups your risk factor. Besides the negative effects on your health, it sure puts a dent in your wallet too.
But say you’re addicted and have been for years; is there a way to lower your risk of developing lung cancer or having a stroke or heart attack? We’re happy to report that the answer is yes.
You will need to stop smoking, but over time, your risk factors will decrease to that of someone who has never smoked. While it takes years for this to happen, there are immediate positive changes in the hours, days and months following your last cigarette.
We know that it can be hard to make a change when all you see is the long term benefits years in the future, so we thought it would be helpful to break down the almost immediate benefits if you were to stop smoking right now.
Let’s say you just took your last cigarette puff. You’d only have to wait 20 minutes for the 1st positive side effect. That’s when your blood pressure would return to a normal level.
Eight hours after your last cigarette, the amount of carbon monoxide in your lungs would be reduced by 50%.
Forty-eight hours after your last cigarette, you’d have a much lower risk of having a heart attack, and there wouldn’t be any nicotine in your system.
Three days after your last cigarette, you would notice that it’s much easier to breath.
Within 2 months of your last cigarette, your lungs would function 30% more efficiently.
Within 9 months of your last cigarette, you’d notice that you aren’t coughing as much or as congested as you used to be. This is because your bronchial tubes would have started to regrow fibers that keep your lungs clean by dealing with mucus and bacteria.
One year after your last cigarette, your energy level would have returned to that of someone who had never smoked and your risk of a heart attack would be cut in half.
Five years after your last cigarette, your risk of having a stroke would be the same as someone who has never smoked.
Ten years after your last cigarette, your risk of getting lung cancer would be the same as someone who has never smoked.
Fifteen years after your last cigarette, your risk of having a heart attack would be the same as someone who has never smoked.
Do you find it motivational to see the progression over time of how ditching cigarettes for good can improve your health?