Benefits of Quitting Smoking


I smoked for twenty years and stopped a year ago. I don't expect my lungs to be 100% of what they could have been; if i didn't smoke.  I want to speed up the rejuvenation. I am tired of spitting up black phlegm!


A:   Congratulations on quitting smoking.  Its is good you realize the benefits will not be instantaneous.  I have included some points from an older surgeon generals publication that outlines the benefits of quitting smoking and when to expect them. I find it helpful with my patients. I hope you find it helpful as well.

Just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and
pulse rate drop to normal and the body temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal.
A mere 8 hours after your last smoke, the carbon monoxide level decreases and the oxygen level in your blood increases to normal
Just 24 hours after your last cigarette, you substantially lessen your chances of having a heart attack.
Two days after your last cigarette, you will notice that your ability to taste and smell is enhanced.
Three days later, your breathing should be noticeably better because your lung capacity will be greater.
Your circulation will improve and your lung functioning will increase up to 30% within two weeks to three months after quitting.
Between one month and nine months, the cilia in your lungs will regenerate, allowing your body to clean your lungs and reduce infection.
One year after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.
Five years after quitting, your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
Ten years after quitting, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smokers. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throath, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
Fifteen years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmokers.

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