We all know smoking has a serious impact on overall health. It is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in America and is responsible for over 30% of all cancer-related deaths. So why do 42 million Americans continue to use tobacco? The answer is simple. Overcoming mental and physical dependency to nicotine is tremendously difficult. Studies suggest that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine and heroine. (http://bit.ly/1cr2Dl4)
Despite the hurdles all smokers face throughout their journey towards nicotine independence, the pay-off is substantial and can be achieved. On November 19th during the Great American Smokeout, an annual campaign led by the American Cancer Society, Greater Boston Urology encourages tobacco users to overcome the challenge of quitting with the guidance to maintain a smoke-free lifestyle. To help support tobacco users during this quest, take a look at the near immediate benefits that you could achieve by giving up smoking:
Immediate Benefits – The American Cancer Society reports that after 20 minutes without a cigarette, an individual’s blood pressure and heart rate will drop. The US Surgeon General’s Report states that after 12 hours without a cigarette, the amount of carbon monoxide in an individual’s blood drops to normal levels. (http://1.usa.gov/1NaR6JG)
Short-Term Benefits – According to the US Surgeon General’s Report, an individual’s circulation will improve anywhere from two weeks to three months after quitting, and lung function will be enhanced. Cilia, which are microscopic hairs that act as the respiratory system’s filter, begin to reclaim their ability to clean the lungs and regulate mucus. Those who have been smoke-free for one to nine months will breathe easier with less coughing. Any shortness of breath felt during an individual’s time as a smoker should dissipate. (http://1.usa.gov/1Oa7gEF)
Long-Term Benefits – After one smoke-free year, the risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by half when compared to those who continue smoking. As an individual celebrates 5-years as a non-smoker, the risk of many cancers (including bladder, mouth, throat, and esophagus) are cut in half. The risk of cervical cancer also is reduced, along with the risks of experiencing a stroke. (http://bit.ly/1ebcEGb)
In the journey to triumph over nicotine addiction, Greater Boston Urology hopes that smokers will keep in mind the limitless health benefits of enjoying a tobacco-free lifestyle. To all those who are trying to quit, Greater Boston Urology applauds the perseverance and commitment needed to make a difference, during the Great American Smokeout and year-round. This is the first and very important step towards better health.