If you’re looking to quit smoking cigarettes and tobacco products, start here. We know it’s a tough road, but there are now many research-backed tools available to help you kick the tobacco habit for good.
Cigarettes are probably the first things that come to mind when you think of tobacco products, but cigars, dip, pipes and e-cigarettes (vaping) also fall under the tobacco umbrella. (Even though there’s no tobacco in vaping, there’s nicotine, so it’s still considered a tobacco product.)
Smoking tobacco products damages almost every organ in the body, which is why the health benefits of quitting smoking are exponential and begin the minute you extinguish your last tobacco product.
These statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight just how prevalent smoking still is in America:
- After decades of education on the dangers of smoking, almost 40 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes.
- When it comes to younger age groups, more than 3 million students in middle and high schools in America use at least one tobacco product.
- Using tobacco products is still the top cause of preventable disease, disability and death in America.
- Each year, nearly 500,000 Americans die prematurely of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related serious illness.
Read on to see the health benefits of quitting cigarettes and tobacco products and a variety of evidence-based ways to finally stop smoking. Consider this your first step to a tobacco-free life.
What happens when you quit smoking?
There’s a lot going on in your body after you quit smoking. According to the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Your heart rate drops within 20 minutes of putting your last cigarette out.
- 12 to 24 hours after quitting smoking, the carbon monoxide level in your blood decreases to a normal level, and your heart attack risk is drastically decreased as well.
- Within 2 weeks to 3 months of quitting, your heart attack risk continues to go down, and your lungs are able to function better than before.
- In the 1 to 9 months after quitting, you’ll cough less and find that you’re breathless less often.
- After 1 to 2 years of being tobacco-free, your heart attack risk is greatly reduced.
- In the 5 to 10 years after quitting, your stroke risk is greatly reduced. and your risk for cancers of the mouth, throat and voice box is half that of a smoker’s.
- 10 years after quitting, your chance of dying from lung cancer is half that of a smoker’s.
- 15 years after quitting, your heart disease risk is roughly equivalent to that of a nonsmoker.
- 20 years after quitting, your risk of mouth, throat, voice box and pancreatic cancers …….