Health Benefits Of Quitting Smoking – Unless otherwise indicated, the information contained in this section comes from Quit Victoria, 1995 The 1990 report of the Surgeon General of the United States is devoted to cessation of smoking, and has reached the following main conclusions:
- Quitting smoking has major and immediate benefits to the health of men and women of all ages. Benefits apply to people with or without a smoking-related illness.
- Former smokers live longer than continuous smokers, and the benefits of quitting extend to those who drop out at older ages. For example, people who resigned before the age of 50 years have half the risk of dying over the next 15 years, compared to continuous 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 baby of low birth to that of women who have never smoked.
- The health benefits of cessation of smoking far exceed all risks of the average of 2.3 kg (5 pounds) of weight gain or any adverse psychological effect that may result in quitting smoking.
British research has confirmed that renunciation at any age increases life expectancy, provided that the abandonment takes place before the development of cancer or other serious illnesses. Those who resigned before the age of 35 have a life expectancy that is not significantly different from that of non-smokers. For those who stop later, the risk is intermediate between non-smokers and continuous smokers. Even those who stop between 65-74 years have age-specific mortality rates beyond the age of 75 years significantly lower than those who continue to smoke.
Nicotine and carbon monoxide leave the body within the first few hours after quitting, although it may take up to two days for nicotine by-products to leave the body. In a month of cessation, the blood pressure returns to the normal level, and the pulmonary function has improved. After about three months, the lungs were able to regain the ability to clean properly, depending on whether irreparable pulmonary damage occurred, and the blood flow to the limbs will have improved.
Ten years after quitting, the risk of a former smoker developing lung cancer decreased between 30-50% of the risk in continuous smokers, and the risk continues to decrease with abstinence. Quitting smoking also reduces the risk of cancer of the larynx, and reduces the magnitude and severity of precancer cell changes in the mucous membrane of the larynx and lungs.
Quitting halves the risk of cancer of the mouth and esophagus after five years of weaning. The risk of pancreatic cancer is also reduced, even if it cannot be measurable after ten years of abstinence. The risk of bladder cancer decreases after a number of years, but studies have contradictory results on the magnitude. The risk of cervical cancer is significantly lower among former smokers than in current smokers, even in the first few years after cessation.
Smoking cessation significantly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). The risk of mortality is reduced by about half a year after cessation, and then gradually decreases. After about 15 years of abstinence, the risk of coronary artery disease is similar to that of non-smokers. For smokers with CHD diagnosed, quitting appears to reduce the risk of recurrent heart attack and cardiovascular death by 50% or more. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing peripheral vascular disease and improves the management of the existing state. Smoking cessation also reduces the risk of ischemic stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Cessation of smoking reduces the rates of respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sputum production and wheezing, and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. In smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), quitting improves pulmonary function by about 5% in a few months of cessation. The accelerated decline in lung function in smokers stops with smoking cessation, returning to the much slower decline rates that occur naturally with aging. With sustained abstinence, COPD mortality rates among former smokers are declining with respect to continuous smokers.
The Surgeon general of the United States stated that “smoking is probably the most important modifiable cause of a poor pregnancy result in women in the United States.”
Women who quit smoking before they become pregnant, or who quit smoking in the first three to four months of pregnancy, have infants with the same birth as those born to women who have never smoked. These women who have quit smoking at any time until the 30th week of pregnancy have babies with higher births than those who smoke during pregnancy. Reducing the number of cigarettes smoked, rather than quitting completely, does not seem to benefit from the birth of the fetus.
Smoking encourages women to reach menopause one to two years earlier, but former smokers have a natural menopause age similar to those who have never smoked.
Other disease processes
Smokers have an increased risk of developing duodenum and gastric ulcers. The increased risk is reduced by quitting smoking. Ulcer disease is more severe, less likely to heal, and more likely to recur in smokers. Affected smokers who stop doing better than continuous smokers.
Cessation and the older smoker:
As mentioned above, cessation at any age has benefits for the smoker, thus reducing the risk of serious illness. Smoking in later life has also been associated with higher rates of physical disability, poorer health perceived by the individual, higher levels of depressive symptoms, and lower levels of physical function, density Bone mineral, pulmonary function, and muscular strength. Cessation is therefore an important factor in improving health and well-being in general.
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