Regaining Your Health at Any Age with Smoking Cessation

Smoking Cessation

The bad side of smoking is known by everyone as it is called a public hazard. This habit is linked to so many diseases that almost every heart condition includes cigarettes as a risk factor.

So quitting is important, but what if you have been a smoker for years? Is it still worth to quit?

Well, a recent study has given us convincing evidence that quitting at any age brings several health benefits that can improve the lifespan.

This study, published on June 25, 2024, explored data from more than 15 million adults across four countries. The researchers tracked patients for 15 years, examining the effect of quitting on life expectancy at any age.

As expected, the findings were in support of smoking cessation. They showed that quitting is the single best approach for any smoker at any age. Here is a brief explanation.

  • Life expectancy boost:

The study examined the years of life lost by persistent smokers compared to those who quit.

Smokers who continue the habit until age 75 lose an average of 4.4 years of life expectancy, while those who discontinued at 75 can still add an average of 0.7 years to their lives.

  • The power of early quitting:

It is clear that quitting at any age is good for you, but the earlier you quit, the greater the results are.

For example, those who quit before 40 can expect a life expectancy that is equal to those who never touched a cigarette.

This leads to a 90% reduction in the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases.

  • Time heals:

The study also shows that you can gain years of life by quitting smoking. Those who stop at 35 can recover an average of 8 years lost to smoking, while those who stop at 55 get an average of 3.4 years.


The Health Benefits Timeline

Stopping smoking brings benefits beyond just living longer. Research shows that your health starts improving right away when you quit smoking:


Health Progress

Minutes Your heart rate and blood pressure drop significantly.
Hours Your body eliminates nicotine from your bloodstream.
Days Carbon monoxide levels in your blood plummet to non-smoker levels.
Weeks to monthsCirculation improves, leading to better breathing and increased stamina.
1-12 monthsCoughing and shortness of breath decrease dramatically.
1-2 yearsThe chance of a heart attack drops dramatically
3-9 yearsThe risk of coronary heart disease is reduced significantly.
5-10 yearsThe chance of certain cancers like mouth, throat, and larynx cancers is halved.
10 yearsThe rate of lung cancer drops by half compared to continued smokers.
15 yearsThe risk of heart attack falls to the same level as someone who has never smoked.

These changes mean your life will be better. You will feel more energetic, notice flavors and smells more, and have a healthier look.


How to Quit Smoking:

If you are searching to quit smoking, then you must be aware of how difficult it can be.

However, with the right support system and resources, you can handle any hurdle and stop this habit permanently. Here is how you can do that.

Develop a quit plan:

Set up a deadline and create a plan to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Identify all the triggers, like situations or emotions, that make you crave a cigarette and develop coping mechanisms.

Try methods like relaxing techniques, keeping yourself occupied with healthy activities, and avoiding smoking environments.

Build your support system:

It is always good to ask for help from your family members, friends, or a healthcare worker [ref].

Let them know about your healthy decision to quit, and make them hold you accountable for your progress.

Surround yourself with people who will encourage you on your journey. Try joining a smoking cessation support group to connect with others who are quitting and share experiences.

Explore nicotine replacement therapy (NRT):

Consult your doctor about NRT options like patches, gum, or lozenges. These can help manage withdrawal symptoms by delivering small amounts of nicotine in a controlled way, which will reduce cravings and irritability [ref].

Seek professional help:

Do not be afraid to ask for help from a doctor or a counselor who specializes in quitting smoking. They can give you priceless advice, and support and create a plan just for you to quit smoking.

They can also help with any other issues that might be making it hard for you to quit and prescribe medicines to help with withdrawal symptoms.


The bottom line:

This study strongly suggests that stopping smoking is a very useful way to care for yourself, and it is never too late to start feeling better.

Every cigarette you avoid is good for your body and a chance to improve your health and well-being.

While quitting might seem hard at first, you must always know that you are not alone.

Quitting smoking is not just about living longer but also about living better. It will help you enjoy life more fully without being controlled by this addiction.

Take that first important step today so that your future self thanks you for it with better health and happiness.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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