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Smoking Cessation: Part 1

Tobacco cessation is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Twenty minutes after you quit smoking, your blood pressure and heart rate begin to drop towards a normal level. Twelve hours after quitting the carbon monoxide levels in your blood drops to normal. Two – three weeks after you quit, your blood circulation and your lungs begin to recover. One to nine months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease, the cilia begin to function normally, and your lungs begin to “clean” themselves out. A year after quitting, your risk of heart attack or heart disease are ½ that of current smokers. Five years after quitting, the risk of oral, throat, and esophagus cancers are cut in ½. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Ten years after quitting, the risk of dying from lung cancer is about ½ that of a non-smoker and the risk of throat or larynx cancer (voice box) and pancreas cancer decrease. Fifteen years after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker. Other benefits include better breath, no bad smelling clothes or hair, stained teeth get whiter, food tastes better, your sense of smell returns, yellowed fingers and finger nails return to normal, your lung function decline slows to that of a non-smoker, and energy levels and exercise tolerance improve. Plus you are no longer banished from your home or work out into the weather to smoke.

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