In fact, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the country. Additionally, diseases related to tobacco smoke cause more deaths per year than HIV, murder and suicide combined, the CDC reports.
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And let's face it, this might not be news to you if you are a smoker. I'm sure you've heard it all before in the hundreds of government-sponsored anti-smoking campaigns over the years. We all know the negative effects of smoking, and it might or might not have gotten you off the habit.
If it hasn't, maybe if you knew what the positive health effects of quitting were, you would be more motivated to kick the habit that absolutely can kill you. Check this out:
The CDC reports that:
- Twenty minutes after quitting: Blood pressure drops to a level close to that before the last cigarette. Temperature of the hands and feet increase to normal.
- Eight hours after quitting: Carbon monoxide levels in the blood drop to normal.
- Twenty-four After quitting: Chance of a heart attack decreases.
- Two weeks to three months after quitting: Circulation improves. Lung function increases up to 30 percent.
- One to nine months after quitting: coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decreases.
- One year after quitting: Excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
- Five years after quitting: Stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's.
- 10 years after quitting: Lung cancer death rate about half that of a continuing smoker's. Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidneys and pancreas decreases.
- 15 years after quitting: Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's
So there you go. Your body is incredibly resilient, and it will work to recover from as much cell damage as it is able to. If you give your body the environment it needs, it will amaze you with what it gives back.
Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer and co-owner of Home Team Fitness LLC. Go to www.hometeamfitness.net for more information.