This topic is close to my heart. My father was a long, long-time smoker and died in 2003 from various cancers including lung. I clearly remember the smell of him lighting up a cigarette in the car, in our house, at a restaurant, etc. Early on I knew that he should stop. I got in a lot of trouble the day I took a pack of his cigarettes and broke them all and put them in the trash. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death in the US, yet people still smoke.
The CDC says “Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis”.
If you smoke and have contemplated or tried quitting, you are brave and optimistic about tackling this complicated habit. Research shows, that it can take multiple attempts to stop smoking. But once you’ve stopped, the body begins to repair itself as early as 20- minutes after a cigarette with the heart rate and blood pressure coming down. 12 hours after smoking, the carbon monoxide in your blood drops to normal. And after only a few months, circulation improves, and lung function increases!
What would it look like if you didn’t smoke? How much money would you save both from buying cigarettes and future health care costs? How much time do you spend on the habit? Imagine all the benefits and imagine what life could look like without this habit.
There are many resources for quitting smoking. Here are a few places to start:
This year, think about making the change and quitting smoking. You are worth it!