Quitting smoking takes time. But did you know that your body can benefit from quitting after just 20 minutes without a cigarette?

  • After 20 minutes – Heart rate drops. social-media-ad
  • After 12 hours – Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
  • 2 weeks to 3 months – Heart attack risk begins to drop. Lung function begins to improve.
  • 1 month to 9 months – Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1 year – Increased risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
  • 5 years – Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s five to 15 years after quitting; Lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s.
  • 10 years – Risk of cancer of the mouth throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decrease.
  • 15 years – Risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmokers.

In addition to improved health and body function, there are many other positive reasons to quit!

  • Food Tastes Better
  • Clothes and Hair Smell Better
  • Healthier Family
  • Healthier Pets
  • Save money
  • Whiter teeth
  • Better sleep
  • Cheaper life insurance
  • Improved stamina when exercising
  • Reduced coughing and wheezing
  • Longer, Healthier life!

Ready to quit? Here are some quick tips to help you get on track to quit.

  • Set a firm quit date.
  • Throw away all tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices.
  • Take a pledge to have a tobacco-free home and/or vehicle.
  • Set up a good support system.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Think about what activities you will do when you have a strong urge to use tobacco products.
  • Electronic Smoking Devices are not an FDA approved smoking cessation aid.

Use Quitline Iowa to help you make YOUR plan and support YOU through the process!

Enroll now for free. Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW (1.800.784.8669) or visit www.quitlineiowa.org.

My thanks to Ashley B. Johnson of the American Lung Association of Iowa for her assistance with this contribution.



About Susan Hyland

I am a licensed dental hygienist that has practiced in public health for 37 years. I am a member of the Iowa Dental Hygienists' Association Professional Development Council and a representative to the Lifelong Smiles Coalition. I am also the Iowa Liaison to the American Dental Hygienists' Association Tobacco Intervention Initiative.
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5 Responses to Quitting smoking takes time. But did you know that your body can benefit from quitting after just 20 minutes without a cigarette?

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