The Benefits of Smoking Cessation
By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., ACCESS Media Relations Specialist
December 8, 2015
Since the Surgeon General's landmark report in 1964, which first highlighted a connection between smoking and lung cancer, tens of millions of Americans have attempted to quit the habit. At ACCESS, we support those who are looking to end this dangerous addiction. We also understand that it's a difficult hurdle to overcome. ACCESS Behavioral Health Consultant Brenda Barr, L.C.S.W., explains some of the benefits of successfully quitting smoking and when you can expect to see positive health outcomes.
Benefits of Smoking Cessation
- The health benefits of quitting smoking appear at various times once you stop, but some can appear shortly after your last cigarette. For example:
- Your blood pressure and pulse will lower as soon as 20 minutes after you last smoke.
- After eight hours, your blood's carbon monoxide level returns to normal.
- Your chance of a heart attack decreases within 24 hours of your last smoke.
- After 72 hours of smoking cessation, your airways relax.
- Your sense of taste and smell is diminished when you smoke. A few days after smoking, you should notice that those senses have returned.
- Your own smell improves soon after smoking as well. A shower and a change of clothes after your last smoke is all it takes to get rid of the smell of smoke.
- Smoking affects those around you. Exposure to secondhand smoke over a period of a few years can have the same impact on others as smoking has on you.
Smoking is habit forming for reasons other than the addictive nature of nicotine. To help break the daily routine, get rid of anything that reminds you of smoking, including ashtrays, lighters and even clothing that smells of smoke.
More than anything, you will need a system of support to help you get through those times when cravings are at their worst. ACCESS provides behavioral health services that can help ease your transition from smoker to non-smoker with compassion. Click here to schedule an appointment.