Benefits of quitting smoking

Quitting smoking may improve the length and quality of your life. When you give up cigarettes, your body starts to renew itself as early as the first day of quitting. You may live longer and reduce your chance of developing heart disease, cancer, breathing problems, and infections. And there are other rewards too.

Health benefits of quitting

You will start seeing health benefits soon after you smoke your last cigarette.

After quitting, within:

  • 20 minutes - your blood pressure drops to a level similar to what it was before your last cigarette.
  • 8 hours - the level of carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) in your blood drops to normal.
  • 24 hours - your risk of having a heart attack starts to drop
  • 2 weeks to 3 months - the airways in your lungs relax and your can get more air into your lungs and breathe easier
  • 1 to 9 months - you cough less and your lungs work even better.
  • 1 year - your added risk of coronary heart disease is half than that of a smoker’s
  • 5 years - you have the same chance of having a stroke as a non-smoker
  • 10 Years - your chance of dying from lung cancer is much lower. So is your chance of getting cancer in your  mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and/or pancreas
  • 15 Years - your risk of coronary heart disease is  similar to that of a non-smoker

The health benefits of quitting are the same for all types of smokers (men and women, young and old). And by quitting, you will lower the chance that people around you will have health problems from second-hand smoke.

Even those who have developed smoking-related problems like heart disease can benefit. Compared to continuing to smoke, people who quit smoking after having a heart attack may reduce their chances of having another heart attack by as much as 50%.

Are you pregnant?

The sooner you quit, the better for you and your baby. Talk to your doctor or nurse about quitting. They can advise you about the types of quitting methods best for you. See also: Second-hand smoke and pregnancy.

See also:

Other benefits

There are many other benefits of quitting smoking:

  • Think of the money you will save on cigarettes and tobacco products.
  • Your life and house insurance premiums may go down.
  • Smoking cigarettes will no longer control your life.
  • You won't have to search for places that let you smoke.
  • You'll feel proud of your ability to overcome something so challenging.

The message is clear. It's never too late to quit smoking.

Did you know?

Former smokers may live longer than those who continue to smoke. People who quit around age 50 may reduce their risk of dying prematurely, gaining about six years of life expectancy over those who continue to smoke.

Need help to quit?

Call the pan-Canadian, toll-free quitline at 1-866-366-3667 or see the quit smoking website for your province or territory.

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