SEVEN SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND ENHANCE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE
EAT BETTER GET ACTIVE LOSE WEIGHT QUIT SMOKING REDUCE
y now every smoker knows the habit is unhealthy,
but there’s more to quitting than frightening statistics.
There are many benefits to smoke-free living, and you
don’t have to wait a year to experience them — they
begin immediately. Here’s a timeline of how your life improves:
• In your first 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate
• After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood
return to normal.
• After two weeks to three months, your lung function
starts improving and your risk for heart attack is less.
Your clothes, your body, your car and your home will
• After one to nine months, coughing and shortness
of breath diminish. You regain the ability to cough
productively instead of hacking, which helps to clear your
lungs and reduces your risk of infection. The stains on
your teeth fade and disappear.
• After 10 years of smoke-free living, your risk of lung
cancer is about half that of a person who has continued to
smoke. The risk of other cancers, such as cancer of the
larynx and pancreas decreases, too.
• After 15 years of not smoking your risk of coronary heart
disease is the same as for someone who hasn’t smoked.
Another benefit of giving up cigarettes is money. With
the taxes almost all states tack onto tobacco, cigarettes are
expensive. Figuring the cost is another way to cement your
resolve to live smoke-free. At the low end, smoking cigarettes
costs you thousands of dollars a year!
As you change your habits you’ll also change your
perception of yourself. You’ll begin to see yourself as the
healthier person you are becoming, as someone who
deserves to be treated with care, as someone whose long-term health is important.
Living smoke-free relieves you of excusing yourself from
your non-smoking friends to take a smoke break. You no longer
suffer “the look” from others when you step outside to smoke.
Your family’s health improves because their breathing
environment improves. When you clean up the air by cutting out
the cigarette smoke, you are showing that you care enough to
Noticing the improvements in your body, your bank account,
your atmosphere and your self-esteem is hugely reinforcing.
If you are still smoking, start quitting right now. In 20
minutes, you’ll feel better.
How quitting smoking improves
your life, short-term and long