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Mid Coast Center for Community Health & Wellness Newsletter
June 2018
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The Immediate & Long-Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Benefits of Quitting Smoking with Mid Coast Hospital

Everyone knows that quitting smoking is good for your health. But did you know the health benefits of quitting start within minutes of having that last cigarette? The lists below break down the benefits experienced during the minutes, days, and years after you quit smoking.

20 minutes after you quit, your:

  • Blood pressure drops to normal.
  • Pulse rate drops to normal.
  • Body temperature of hands and feet returns to normal.

Eight hours after you quit, the:

  • Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • Oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.

24 hours after you quit, your chance of heart attack decreases.

48 hours after you quit, your:

  • Nerve endings start re-growing.
  • Ability to smell and taste is enhanced.

Between two to 12 weeks after you quit:

  • Your circulation improves.
  • Walking becomes easier.
  • Your lung function increases up to 30%.

Between one to nine months after you quit:

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease.
  • Cilia regrow in your lungs, increasing your ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection.
  • Your body’s overall energy level increases.

One year after you quit, your excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.

10 years after you quit, your:

  • Risk of lung cancer death decreases by almost half for former one-pack-per day smokers.
  • Stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker.
  • Risk of cancer to the mouth, throat, and esophagus is half that of a smoker.

15 years after you quit, your:

  • Lung cancer rate is similar to non-smokers.
  • Precancerous cells are replaced.
  • Risk of cancer to the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
  • Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

Quitting smoking is one of the number-one things you can do to improve your overall wellness. However, research indicates that quitting “cold turkey” is only successful for approximately 2% of people. Though the process of quitting can be daunting, the good news is that there is more help available to assist you than ever before.

The current recommendations for tobacco treatment include utilizing some form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), such as gum, lozenges, or nasal spray, in conjunction with medication and counseling. New NRTs and medications are designed to help with many withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and even weight gain. With this type of treatment program, the success rate for quitting goes as high as 42%!

For help quitting, contact the Mid Coast Hospital Tobacco Treatment Program at (207) 373-6585, call the Maine Tobacco HelpLine at 1-800-207-1230, or sign up online for free counseling and NRTs available to Maine residents.

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