No matter what stage of life you’re in or how long you’ve been smoking, it’s never too late to enjoy the benefits of quitting.
Cessation will not only stop the daily damage to your body, but will also have an immediate positive effect on every aspect of your health, the health of those around you, and your overall quality of life. As soon as 24 hours after your last cigarette, your risk of heart attack, normally higher than that of non-smokers, will begin to drop.
Quitting smoking can also have a profound effect on the health of your lungs, which have an amazing ability to regenerate and heal. As we get older, our lung function naturally declines. If we drew a picture to describe this, it would look like a gently-sloped tobogganing hill. In smokers, lung function declines at a faster rate; imagine a steep, black diamond ski hill. However, studies have shown that within months after you quit smoking, your lung function begins to look like the toboggan hill again – no matter what your age.
Consider that each day, 100 Canadians die from a smoking-related illness such as cancer, heart disease and stroke; tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable death nation-wide, leading to more than 37,000 premature deaths every year. Researchers estimate that, on average, smokers lose about 15 years of their lives.
On the flip side, quitting smoking could also extend the lives of your family and friends, as well as your own. Second-hand smoke is a known risk factor for various cancers, and this smoke (as well as smoke residue on your clothing) can irritate the lungs of those with asthma and other lung diseases. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of second-hand smoke because the air sacs in their lungs are smaller and less developed.
Because smoking damages the inner lining of blood vessels throughout the body, the smallest blood vessels – such as those in the brain, heart, lungs, genitals, and skin – are particularly vulnerable to damage. Quitting smoking will improve brain health, leading to positive effects on memory and concentration, while also allowing you to increase cardiovascular endurance, enabling you to walk, run, swim, ski, or golf that much longer and that much better.
In addition to an improvement in libido and physical appearance, through looking less aged and developing less fine lines and wrinkles, former smokers also enjoy more disposable income. The financial burden of smoking can further decrease quality of life – according to Health Services Alberta, the average smoker spends over $3,500 per year on cigarettes.
While quitting smoking can be difficult, your team at Copeman is here to help you discover other ways of enjoying life that won’t put your health, the health of your loved ones, and your quality of life at risk. There are multiple strategies to quitting smoking, and not all of them require taking pills. Talk to your Copeman care team today.