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Smoking cessation: good for body and mind

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Are you thinking of quitting smoking, but lack the motivation? The many benefits to your health and well-being may convince you to give it a try!

La cessation tabagique : bénéfique pour votre corps et votre esprit

Immediate benefits

Everyone knows that cigarettes have multiple negative health effects. But what happens when a smoker decides to stub them out for good? You may be surprised to learn that some health benefits appear very quickly, regardless of the age of the person quitting.

In the first day after the person stops smoking, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood diminishes, while the level of oxygen increases to normal values. In addition, the blood pressure returns to the values present before cigarette use, and the risk of a heart attack is reduced.

After 48 hours, there is a considerable improvement in the senses of taste and smell. Improved blood circulation and respiratory function appear within three months. Within nine months of quitting smoking, you should experience less coughing, less sinus congestion, less fatigue and less shortness of breath.

Long-term benefits

If you’re battling the urge to start smoking again, remember that more benefits will appear over time. Your risk of cardiac disease is reduced by half after one year, and becomes equal to that of a non-smoker after 15 years.

As for the risk of stroke, it takes 5 to 15 years before the risk becomes equal to that of a non-smoker. However, it is significantly reduced after just five years.

A 50% decrease in the risk of death from lung cancer can be seen after 10 years. The risk of developing other cancers, such as mouth or throat cancer, is also reduced.

As well, if you stop smoking, your life expectancy will increase:

Age at the time of smoking cessation

Years of life gained

30

10

40

9

50

6

60

3

 

Visible aspects

Beyond the benefits to your health, quitting smoking will also have a significant, positive impact on your physical appearance. Smoking causes premature ageing of the skin — in other words, smoking makes you age faster! It is very probable that in the weeks and months following your big move, your family and friends will observe that you look better and have a healthier complexion. There is nothing as effective as quitting smoking to preserve your skin’s youth and radiance as much as possible.

Moreover, cigarettes leave their mark on other parts of your body as well, such as your fingers and fingernails, your teeth, and your hair. No one likes to see these parts of their body stained yellow from smoke. They are yet another sign giving away this ugly habit that you have gotten into over the years. Once you stop, most of these marks left by cigarette smoking will quickly disappear.

As for your breath and the smell that cigarette smoke leaves on your clothing, just a few days of abstinence will make all the difference. Get ready to perhaps receive some positive comments to this effect from people around you!

A fantastic achievement!

In addition to the beneficial aspects for your health and appearance, quitting smoking will no doubt have a positive impact on your psychological well-being and on your moral. You will feel pride and success at having realized such a goal. It may be one of the greatest accomplishments of your life! What’s more, with the money saved, you may be able to carry out other projects dear to you, such as taking a trip. There is no doubt that your new cigarette-free life will open up many doors.

Despite the numerous benefits of quitting smoking, it may be difficult to make the decision to stop smoking and to stick with your decision over the long term. To increase your chances of success, here are a few tips:

  • Use an anti-smoking aid, such as nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges, inhaler, vaporizer) or oral medication.
  • Whatever method you choose to quit smoking, use it for at least 12 weeks. Many studies have shown that it takes at least this long in order for a smoking cessation undertaking to be effective.
  • Draw up an action plan with a health professional. Set clear objectives and discuss strategies to help you achieve them.
  • Involve the people around you; don’t embark on the journey alone.
  • Find out as much as you can about quitting smoking — its benefits, traps and challenges. The more informed you are, the better you will be able to overcome any obstacles you encounter.
  • Celebrate your efforts and your successes. Give yourself a little reward each day, and a big reward once in a while.

Quitting smoking may be the biggest step you take to enhance your well-being and your health. And if you view it as a mission to be undertaken, a project to be completed, or a challenge to be met, then you will be on the right path to achieving one of the greatest successes of your life!

Read more on the subject

Les méfaits du tabagisme sur le bien-être et la santé

The harmful effects of smoking on health and well-being

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Les méfaits de la fumée secondaire

The harmful effects of second-hand smoke

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