Smoking is widely known to have a number of harmful health effects, not only for the smoker, but for friends and family as well. While the harmful effects of smoking are well-known, what are the long-term benefits of smoking cessation?
Although there are many benefits from quitting – including improved health, a longer lifespan, and a decrease in expenses, to name a few – stopping isn’t as easy as just throwing out the packs of cigarettes. Nicotine is a very addictive drug, and the withdrawals can make quitting difficult.
Fortunately, with some determination and help, it is always possible for smokers to quit.
Risks of Smoking
Smoking harms nearly every organ within the body, and detracts from long-term health. Smoking can cause cancers of the mouth, lungs, kidneys, liver, stomach, cervix, colon, and esophagus, among many other organ systems.
Additionally, smoking increases blood pressure and puts extra stress on the heart. Smoking can cause heart disease and stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and aortic aneurysm.
Smoking also impairs the immune system to function properly. People who smoke are more susceptible to lung-related infections like pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.
Smoking also makes getting pregnant difficult. If a woman smokes while pregnant, she can also harm her baby’s health. Her baby may be born too early or have other complications. Babies born to smoking mothers are also at higher risk from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
There are also risks to non-smokers. Secondhand smoke can cause cancer and premature death, as well as increase the risk of heart disease. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more susceptible to colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Secondhand smoke can also slow the growth of a child’s lungs.
What are the long-term benefits of smoking cessation?
It’s never too late to stop smoking. The smoker’s health, as well as the health of the friends and family around secondhand smoke, will greatly improve. As a bonus, the smoker will even save some money by removing cigarettes from their shopping list!
Smoking cessation improves the smoker’s lifespan. Quitting will also improve circulation and blood pressure. The smoker’s immune system will also be able to fight off diseases or infections better. They will also notice an improved sense of taste and smell, as well as increased energy levels.
Within just a few months, their lung capacity will improve, and this makes breathing easier. Their ‘smoker’s cough’ and any wheezing will decrease, and over time stop altogether
Quitting will also reduce the risk of developing cancer or heart disease. The risk of stroke, heart attack, or aneurism is also decreased.
Smoking cessation also reduces the chance of impotence, premature births, or miscarriage. A smoke-free environment is also much healthier for children and infants. The risks associated with secondhand smoke to family and friends will also be eliminated.
No matter the smoker’s age, whether in their 20’s or over 60, there are plenty of benefits from smoking cessation. Generally, smokers live shorter lives than non-smokers, so the earlier a person stops smoking, the better! More years of life can be preserved by stopping at an earlier age. Nonetheless, the long-term benefits are worthwhile for smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke alike.