Personal Health Care
  Quit Tobacco  

Benefits of Quitting

Image:  Quit Now for Your and Your Family

It is never too late to stop smoking or to quit using tobacco.  When you quit, your body will undergo immediate positive changes. Your heart will be able to pump blood (and oxygen) around the body with less effort. Blood will be less likely to clot. You will also reduce the risk of a heart attack, which is especially important for those who have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, raised blood cholesterol levels, overweightness, or being diabetic. Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung cancer, other cancers, heart disease, asthma, and other chronic diseases. You will also experience fewer illnesses from cold and flu viruses, reduced rates of bronchitis and pneumonia, and will feel better overall.

What Happens When You Quit

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  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
  • 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
  • 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
  • 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.

Five (5) Keys for Quitting

You have the best chances of successfully quitting if you use these five steps to create and maintain your own quit plan.

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  1. Get ready
  2. Get support
  3. Learn new skills/behaviors
  4. Get medication and use it correctly
  5. Be prepared for difficult situations



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This page last updated: 01/28/22