Campaign For A Smoke Free Union

Why Quit

Potential Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking

  1. Just 24 hours after quitting, the chance of heart attack begins to decrease
  2. Two weeks to three months after quitting, blood circulation may improve and lung function may increase up to 30 percent. Breathing is easier!
  3. One to nine months after quitting, cilia (tiny hairlike structures that move mucus out of the lungs) can regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs and reduce risk of local infection. You might actually cough more for awhile than when you smoked, but the cough will be productive and will eventually stop. Congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath start to decrease.
  4. One year after quitting, the excess risk of developing a heart attack caused by smoking is reduced by half.
  5. Five+ years after quitting, the risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker.
  6. 10 years after quitting, lung cancer death rate is about half of a smoker’s, and the risk of other types of cancer – mouth, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas – has decreased.

Other Benefits of Quiting Smoking

  1. Your children are less likely to start smoking
  2. Food tastes better. Your sense of smell and taste may return to normal.
  3. Your breath, clothes, hair and nails might not smell of cigarettes.
  4. You can save money by not buying cigarettes. If you kept track of how many packs of cigarettes you bought in a week, you can see how much money you have saved by quitting 1

Health Risks You Can Reduce When You Quit Smoking

The main health risks from smoking are coronary heart disease (CHD), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke.

  1. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is caused when the coronary arteries become narrow or clogged and cannot supply enough blood vessels and reduces their ability to carry oxygen throughout the body, increasing your risk for CHD. Women who smoke and take birth control pills are 13.5 times more likely to have a heart attack than women who do not smoke and take birth control pills.2
  2. Lung cancer is the main cancer caused by smoking. Cancer often takes many years to develop. Cigarette smoking damages cells. This cell damage can lead to tumors. Once cancer occurs, the cancer cells can break away and spread to other parts of the body.3
  3. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung conditions that are accompanied by a blockage of air flow to the lungs. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is different from asthma, but it can be hard to tell them apart. COPD makes it difficult to breathe and may get slowly worse as the damage to the lungs progresses.4
  4. Stroke can be caused either by a clot blocking the flow of blood to the brain or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain. Cigarette smoke damages the walls of the blood vessel. This makes it easier for clots to form and increases the risk for a stroke.5