Posted May 22, 2015
According to a Reader’s Digest report, cigarette smoke contains a mix of 4,800 combustion products. About 2,000 of them are toxic and at least 90 substances are considered carcinogenic. This combination of harmful substances can increase the risk for developing many serious medical conditions that can lead to death. But don’t worry, it’s never too late to quit smoking. And as soon as you do, the body begins to heal. Here’s a list of 12 health benefits of quitting:
First 24 hours:
- Circulation in the hands and feet starts to improve.
- Blood pressure and heartbeat return to normal. For pregnant women, the unborn baby’s heartbeat normalizes.
- The amount of oxygen reaching blood cells improves due to decreased carbon monoxide, which prevents oxygen flow. For pregnant women, the unborn child also receives more oxygen.
- Risk of heart attack declines.
Within 2 days:
- All traces of nicotine are gone; the ability to smell and taste returns to normal.
After 3 days:
- Hairs on the lungs start to heal, making breathing easier. Coughing may increase as the body works to remove toxic substances from the lungs. After three months, lung capacity may improve by 39 percent, problems with shortness of breath are diminished and skin color returns to normal.
Within 3 to 9 months:
- The lungs now can fight infections, and problems with smokers cough are improved substantially.
After 12 months:
- Risk for cardiovascular disease drops 50 percent.
After 5 years:
- Possibility of developing lung, esophageal, throat, mouth or stomach cancer is reduced by half.
Within 5 to 10 years:
- Concerns about cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke may return to nonsmoker levels, depending on the longevity of the smoking habit.
- Precancerous cells and tissue are replaced, and the risk of lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder and kidney cancer continues to decline.
After 15 years:
- Concerns about cancer are similar to those of a nonsmoker.