Quitting Smoking – What are the Health Benefits?

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Smoking tobacco is notoriously rampant around the world. This may be due to absence of prohibition in most countries for these smoking products. There also seems to be the easy availability of smoking products like cigarettes. Smoking directly causes about 5.4 million deaths per annum around the world. This really seems to be a significant amount of casualties among those who smoke. But there is never a decline in smoking population for the past years.

A smoker though really does find it hard to stop smoking. Aside from getting “used” to the habit, a chemical in tobacco called nicotine induces a sensation in the body to crave to consume more of it, which is from tobacco. Nicotine is known to be more addictive than opium. This makes it so difficult to stop smoking, especially after being in the habit for a long time.

People with nicotine addiction need support and knowledge on how to recover from such addiction. It is advantageous, then, for a person to know the benefits of stopping smoking when they can. These benefits may seem not too significant but we should know that everything adds up especially when done in a significant amount of time. These are the benefits you can expect once you put down your smoking habit:

1. Blood pressure becomes normal – a minute after smoking, the heart beats harder due to the penetration of smoking particles in the blood. As much as 30% rise in heart rate can be experienced after 10 minutes of smoking. Normal levels of blood pressure can only be attained after 20 minutes of not inhaling smoke particles.

2. Oxygen level becomes normal – carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke can be absorbed in the blood and reduce its capacity to carry oxygen. This depletes the supply and slows body function and metabolism. It returns to normal after 8 hours of no smoking. Carbon monoxide levels though tend to be elevated for about 24 hours.

3. Nicotine exits your system – the addictive chemical found in cigarettes can only stay in the body for about 48 hours. This makes it easier to quit the habit if you could just hold it out for 48 hours since the addictive part is kicked out.

4. Breathing easy – a significant amount of time, after about 72 hours, your lungs is cleared of the debris left by smoking. This makes the lungs work more efficiently and perform better.

5. Better circulation – the circulatory system takes a longer time to cleanse itself of the chemicals absorbed while you’re on your smoking habit. It takes about 2 to 12 weeks for your circulation to be significantly better.

6. Lower heart attack risk – after quitting smoking for about 5 years the risk for a heart attack is half than that of what was had while actively smoking. This is due to the compounded effects of the previously discussed benefits.

7. Eliminates the risk for lung cancer – after 10 years of stopping smoking, the chance of having lung cancer is gone

As we can see, we are doing our body a big favor once we stop smoking now. Quitting smoking never is easy but it will be worth it.