College of DuPage Nursing Student Bri Riding asks, “Have you been consistently told that you need to quit smoking? “Many people who smoke cigarettes know the dangers of smoking yet continue to smoke due to an addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2018), the number of adults who have quit smoking has increased from 50.8% in 2005 to 59% in 2016. Quitting smoking cigarettes has many benefits for your overall health so while it is difficult, it is worth the effort.
What are the Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation?
Smoking is a serious risk factor for multiple diseases leading to premature death, whereas, quitting smoking reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease, coronary obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and risks to reproductive health (CDC, 2020). Quitting smoking may increase life expectancy by up to 10 years and has been found to improve cholesterol levels, specifically, high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), as well as reduce hypercoagulability or the tendency of blood to clot. Overall, there are several health-related benefits from quitting smoking which far outweigh the difficulty involved in doing so.
Smoking Cessation can reduce the risk for some cancers
Perhaps most important is the fact that smoking cessation can reduce the risk of many types of cancers. Cancers that have been found to be associated with smoking include Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), bladder, lung, cervical, colon and rectum, esophagus, kidney, liver, mouth and throat, pancreas, stomach, and laryngeal (CDC, 2020). Not only does the incidence of cancer decrease from smoking cessation, but the cancer prognosis also improves when one decides to quit smoking.
What are the Health Benefits of Quitting Over Time?
Now you may be asking how quitting smoking can provide health benefits over time? According to the CDC (2020), within 24 hours of smoking cessation, the nicotine level in the blood drops to zero. the risk of heart disease decreases, falling sharply 1-2 years after smoking cessation and then declining more slowly over the longer term. By 5-10 years, the risk factor for cancer drops by half, in addition to the risk of lung cancer dropping by half after 10 years (CDC 2020). As time goes on, the list of health benefits continues to increase.
What resources are available for Smoking Cessation?
Health providers have access to many resources to provide to patients to help them achieve the goal of smoking cessation. Smoking cessation counseling and FDA-approved medications can significantly increase the chances of successfully quitting smoking. Moreover, the CDC (2019) has developed printable handouts to provide to patients as helpful resources for quitting smoking by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Free notepads or a printable version may be downloaded; both available. Support is also available to those who are struggling to quit at the same phone number.
Benefits of Quitting. (2020, September 23). Retrieved October 30, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/benefits/index.htm