According to the American Cancer Society, quitting smoking can add as much as 10 years to your life. In fact, regardless of how heavy a smoker one is, quitting has immediate effects on the overall health and well-being, with the positives only increasing over time. Just within twenty minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drops. A year on, your risk of encountering a heart attack drops dramatically.
We know that quitting the habit provides clear benefits to all your major organs, improves physical appearance, and vastly enhances your well-being. However, the first step to successfully kicking the habit requires personal conviction and commitment. From legislative measures to personal efforts, the fight to convince fewer people to light up continues.
What are the benefits of quitting smoking?
Kicking the habit can be an arduous journey, one that truly tests your resolve. That said, it’s not an impossible task. Even those who have successfully quit only did so after several attempts. If at first you don’t succeed, then try again. Unsuccessful attempts are only human and should be viewed as a step closer to the goal.
There are many compelling reasons to quit smoking, and most of them concern your health and well-being. Studies show that many smokers want to quit, but find it difficult to do without adequate support. At times, it even takes up to 30 attempts before they are successful in doing so.
There are both short- and long-term benefits.
The advantages of quitting smoking can show in as quick as 20 minutes. Due to the lowered carbon monoxide intake, your blood is getting more oxygen, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate. In just 12 hours, oxygenation levels in your blood are comparable to a non-smoker. Cravings may increase as damaged nerves begin to heal around the one to two days’ mark. Even though the effect of nicotine is much less dramatic than other illicit drugs, it does incite strong withdrawal symptoms, given that it permeates your hormones, blood vessels, heart, and brain. Though challenging, these cravings eventually do subside, in a month at the very least. Around the two-week mark, blood circulation and peripheral organs such as your gums and teeth enjoy the same circulation levels as a non-smoker.
Cilia cells in the lungs begin to regrow, improving resistance to mucous production and infections. One year on from quitting, risks of coronary artery disease are 50% lower than before. Risks of other critical illnesses such as strokes and lung cancer dramatically drop by 30-50%.
Living a fuller and healthier life is possible the earlier you quit. Because most smokers find resisting the craving for nicotine to be difficult, it’s important to find support in other ways. This can include support groups where you find like-minded individuals on their own journeys to quit as well as your own family and friends. Not only does it offer you motivation, it also increases your accountability in committing to kicking the habit.
It goes without saying that quitting will bring you much needed financial relief. Cigarettes are taxed in Singapore, making them an expensive habit to have. With all the money saved, you can put them towards a health insurance plan that will keep you protected. Non-smokers also enjoy much lower premiums compared to smokers – so there’s an added incentive to quit so you can better support your long-term health financially.
Reclaim your health today
The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest, and most preventable, public health threats globally. With every step you take towards kicking the habit, you’re one step closer to a healthier life. Work closely with support programs such as those offered by the National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) and lean on personal support networks to get closer to your goal. Begin building your personal arsenal for the future with healthier eating habits, regular exercise, and health insurance.