If you smoke, quit. Right now. Some of the results, in terms of health, will be almost immediate. But it could take years for you to get back to being as healthy as someone your age who never smoked. Still, it’s definitely worth it.
Here are some of the benefits of quitting, according to the American Lung Association.
- 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate drops to a normal level.
- 12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 Weeks to 3 months after quitting, your risk of having a heart attack begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- 1 year after quitting, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
5 to 15 years after quitting, Your risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s and your risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, or esophagus is half that of a smoker’s.
- 10 years after quitting, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker’s, your risk of getting bladder cancer is half that of a smoker’s and your risk of getting cervical cancer or cancer of the larynx, kidney or pancreas decreases.
- 15 years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of a nonsmoker.
There are some interesting differences between men and women. For example, women who quit are pretty much caught up with non-smokers in about 10 years. But for men, the total transformation can take as long as 20 years.