Benefits of Quitting Smoking

On 20 Aug 2015, in

Know Your Triggers and Avoid Them

  • If you smoke when you're nervous or anxious, try taking a walk, soaking in a hot bath, or working on a project to distract yourself from the urge.
  • If you're tempted to smoke when you drink alcohol, stay away from places where you usually drink or switch to nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Do you light up with your coffee as part of your morning routine? Drink water instead. You may experience headaches for a few day, but once you've kicked the caffeine habit, you'll have a brand-new, smoke-free morning routine.
  • If you tend to smoke more when you're feeling sad or depressed, try writing down goals or determining how much money you'll save by not spending it on cigarettes. Adding these activities to our schedule as part of your quit plan will help improve your mood.
  • Do you smoke when you're bored? Try nibbling on healthy foods or doodling on a scratch pad to keep your bands busy.
  • If you smoke while driving, remove the ashtray, lighter and cigarettes from your car and turn on your radio or put on your favorite music and sing along.

Resources to Help You Become a Quitter

  • CDC:
  • American Lung association:
  • Missouri Tobacco Quit Line: 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669/TTY 1-800-332-8615)
  • National Cancer Institute: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)
  • Call BJC's free referral line: 314-747-7722
    • This help line will connect you with a physician who meets your needs regardless of your insurance

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

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.
  • Your lung function begins to improve. 

1 to 9 Months after Quitting:

  • Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

1 Year after Quitting:

  • Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half of 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Source: American Lung Association

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