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How Stopping Smoking Helps Your Health

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you will ever do for your health.

National No Smoking Day is an awareness campaign that:

  • encourages smokers to quit using cigarettes
  • raises awareness of the health risk of smoking
  • celebrate those who have kicked the habit in the past

Research has found that smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK and Ireland. Over 80,000 deaths are reported each year.

Those who smoke put themselves at a much higher risk of developing cancer in their lungs, mouth, throat, bladder and liver, among other parts of the body.

Smoking also damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing your risk of developing conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

Smoking doesn’t just affect the health of the smoker; it can also have the same negative effects on those breathing in the second-hand smoke. This is often known as passive smoking.

When you quit this is what happens:

  • After 20 minutes your pulse rate will be returning to normal.
  • After 8 hours your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half.
  • After 48 hours all carbon monoxide is flushed out. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving.
  • After 72 hours if you notice that breathing feels easier, it’s because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also, your energy will be increasing.
  • After 2-12 weeks blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.
  • After 3-9 months any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases by up to 10%.
  • After 1 year… great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker’s chances of heart attack.
  • After 10 years… more great news! Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker’s chances of the same fate.

If you would like more information and help, here is some great support from the NHS with information and an app, plus details of local stop smoking support services.

This article was written by Karen Robinson, formerly a Registered Osteopath.