Everyone knows that quitting smoking is better for your health. Benefits such as more energy, greater stamina, cleaner and whiter teeth, and of course, the cost savings are all pretty obvious. Maybe your friends and coworkers haven’t mentioned that cigarette smoke and odor sticks to your body and clothing like the plague, and it isn’t pleasant. But there are lessor known benefits too – like a slower rate of mental decline, and an improvement in your sense of smell and taste.

Sure, quitting isn’t easy. In fact, it’s really, really tough. That’s why it takes a real commitment. And while quitting comes with some short term pain, the benefits of quitting are not only long term but short term as well.

In 2004 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a report, “The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.” The report included a fascinating list of some of the positive consequences of quitting from the moment you stop. If you’re ready to improve both your health and your life, keep this timetable in mind:

Within 20 minutes of smoking that last cigarette, the body begins a series of changes that continues for years.

20 Minutes

  • Blood pressure drops to normal
  • Pulse rate drops to normal
  • Body temperature of hands and feet increases to normal

8 Hours

  • Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
  • Oxygen level in blood increases to normal

24 Hours

  • Chance of heart attack decreases

48 Hours

  • Nerve endings start re-growing
  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced

2 Weeks to 3 Months

  • Circulation improves
  • Walking becomes easier
  • Lung function increases up to 30%

1 to 9 Months

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease
  • Cilia regrow in lungs, increasing ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection
  • Body’s overall energy increases

1 year

  • Excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker

5 Years

  • Lung cancer death rate for average smoker (one pack a day) decreases by almost half
  • Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5-15 years after quitting
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus is half that of a smoker’s

10 Years

  • Lung cancer death rate similar to that of nonsmokers
  • Precancerous cells are replaced
  • Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases

15 Years

  • Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker

Capital EAP Counselors are trained and certified in effective smoking cessation. We can help you one-on-one as your prepare to quit. Through the Seton Health 7-Week Smoking Cessation Program, we can provide you with continuing support and all of the tools you need to make this positive and healthy change.

Free yourself from the addiction of smoking. Call now! You can learn more about the Smoking Cessation Program here.