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All about quit smoking & stop smoking health effects of smoking constituents of tobacco smoke smoking and lung cancer smoking and cardiovascular disease smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease other cancers caused by smoking women's health and smoking harm to human body by smoking passive smoking (second hand smoking) health hazards of passive smoking avoiding passive smoking smoking addiction reasons to quit smoking stop smoking cigar smoking and health smoking cessation medications body weight and smoking cessation health benefits of quitting smoking

Health benefits of quitting smoking

Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. Benefits apply to persons with and without smoking-related disease. Former smokers live longer than continuing smokers, and the benefits of quitting extend to those who quit at older ages. For example, persons who quit smoking before age 50 have one-half the risk of dying in the next 15 years compared with continuing smokers. Smoking cessation decreases the risk of lung cancer, other

cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease. Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or during the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy reduce their risk of having a low birthweight baby to that of women who never smoked. The health benefits of smoking cessation far exceed any risks from the average 2.3 kg (5 pound) weight gain or any adverse psychological effects that may follow quitting.

Immediate benefits

Nicotine and carbon monoxide leave the body in the first few hours after stopping smoking, although it may take up to two days for nicotine by-products to leave the body. Within a month of cessation, blood pressure returns to the normal level, and lung function has improved. After around three months, the lungs may have regained the capacity to clean themselves properly, depending on whether irreparable lung damage has occurred, and blood flow to the limbs will have improved.

Long term benefits

Cancers: Ten years after stopping smoking, the ex-smoker's risk of developing lung cancer has declined to between 30-50% of the risk in continuing smokers, and risk continues to decline with abstinence. Quitting smoking also lowers the risk of laryngeal cancer, and reduces the extent and severity of premalignant cellular changes in the lining of the larynx and the lungs. Stopping smoking halves the risk of mouth and oesophageal cancers after five years of quitting. The risk of pancreatic cancer is also reduced, although this may only be measurable after ten years of abstinence. The risk of bladder cancer reduces after a number of years, but studies have conflicting findings about extent. The risk of cervical cancer is substantially lower among former smokers than current smokers, even in the first few years following cessation.

Cardiovascular disease: Smoking cessation greatly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Risk of mortality is reduced by about half one year after cessation, then declines gradually. After around 15 years of abstinence, the risk of CHD is similar to that of never-smokers. For those smokers with diagnosed CHD, stopping smoking appears to reduce the risk of recurrent infarction and cardiovascular death by 50% or more. Smoking cessation substantially reduces the risk of developing peripheral vascular disease, and improves management of the existing condition. Smoking cessation also reduces the risk of ischaemic stroke and subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Respiratory disease: Stopping smoking reduces rates of respiratory symptoms such as cough, sputum production and wheezing, and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. In smokers with established chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stopping smoking improves pulmonary function by about 5% within a few months of cessation. The accelerated decline in lung function in smokers stops with smoking cessation, returning to the far slower rates of decline that naturally occur with ageing. With sustained abstinence, mortality rates from COPD among former smokers decline in comparison to continuing smokers.

Reproduction: Women who stop smoking before becoming pregnant, or who quit smoking in the first three to four months of pregnancy, have infants with the same birthweight as those born to women who have never smoked. Those women who stop smoking any time up to the 30th week of pregnancy have babies with higher birthweight than those who smoke throughout pregnancy. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked, rather than quitting completely, does not appear to benefit birthweight of the foetus. Smoking causes women to reach menopause one to two years early, but former smokers have an age at natural menopause similar to those who have never smoked.

Other disease processes: Smokers have an increased risk of developing duodenal and gastric ulcers. The increased risk is reduced by stopping smoking. Ulcer disease is more severe, less likely to heal, and more likely to recur in smokers. Affected smokers who quit do better than continuing smokers.

More information on quitting smoking

How to quit smoking? - Many smokers know they need to quid smoking to avoid health risk. Smoking cessation is of the most importance for people who is suffering from unpleasant smoking symptoms.
What health effects are associated with smoking? - The main health risks in tobacco smoking pertain to diseases of the respiratory tract and also to diseases of the cardiovascular system, in particular smoking being a major risk factor for a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
What're the constituents of tobacco smoke? - Tobacco smoke is a complex mixture of several thousand chemical compounds. These include particulates (tar) of sticky solids, gases such as carbon monoxide, and volatiles. Most importantly, the smoke contains nicotine ĘC the addictive drug.
Smoking and lung cancer - Lung cancer is directly related to smoking. Over 40 carcinogens have been identified in cigarette smoke. The risk of developing lung cancer is directly related to the number of cigarettes smoked.
Smoking and cardiovascular disease - There are a number of cardiovascular diseases that can be related to smoking. They include heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Smoking aggravates and accelerates of the development of atherosclerotic lesions in the arterial walls.
Smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease in which the lung is damaged, making it hard to breathe. Prolonged tobacco use causes lung inflammation and variable degrees of air sack (alveoli) destruction.
Other cancers caused by or associated with smoking - Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the oral cavity, oesophagus and larynx. Smoking is a cause of bladder cancer. Cigarette smoking is at least a contributory and may be a causal factor in the development of pancreatic cancer.
Women's health and smoking - Women smokers suffer all the consequences of smoking that men do such as increased of risk various cancers (lung, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, kidney, and bladder) and respiratory diseases.
Harm to human body by smoking - Chemicals in tobacco cause damage to the macula (the most sensitive part of the retina, the back of the eye). Smoking is a risk factor for all cancers associated with the larynx, oral cavity and oesophagus.
What is passive smoking? - "Passive smoking" or "secondhand smoke" - also known as "environmental tobacco smoke" (ETS) or "involuntary smoking" - occurs when the ambient smoke from one person's cigarette is inhaled by other people.
Health hazards of passive smoking - Some of the immediate effects of passive smoking include eye irritation, headache, cough, sore throat, dizziness and nausea. Adults with asthma can experience a significant decline in lung function when exposed, while new cases of asthma may be induced in children whose parents smoke.
How to avoid passive smoking? - Let your visitors know your home is a smoke-free zone, request them to smoke outside. Ask your visitors to put off the cigarette before entering your room. Ask to be seated in non-smoking areas as far from smokers as possible when dining out.
What is a smoking addiction? - A smoking addiction means a person has formed an uncontrollable dependence on cigarettes to the point where stopping smoking would cause severe emotional, mental, or physical reactions.
Why quit smoking? - Smoking increases the risk of respiratory diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smokers have twice the risk of dying of heart attacks, as do non-smokers.
How to stop smoking? - Quitting smoking is a lot like losing weight; it takes a strong commitment over a long period of time. Withdrawal from nicotine has two parts - the physical and the psychological.
Cigar smoking and health - A cigar is defined, for tax purposes, as "any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco," while a cigarette is "any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or any substance not containing tobacco.
What smoking cessation medications are available? - Nicotine for NRT is available by prescription as an inhaler or nasal spray (Nicotrol Inhaler and Nicotrol NS).
Changes in body weight and smoking cessation - Smokers weigh, on average, around 3 kg less than non-smokers, although heavy smokers are more likely to be moderately or severely overweight. For many people, the fear of gaining weight prevents them from quitting smoking.
Health benefits of quitting smoking - Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. The health benefits of smoking cessation far exceed any risks from the average 2.3 kg (5 pound) weight gain or any adverse psychological effects that may follow quitting.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005