According to survey conducted by the American Heart Association in 2005, 23.9% of the American male population and 18.1% of the American female population smoke. Together these smokers total over 46 million American people.
As everyone knows, smoking is a death sentence, and approximately one out of every five deaths in America is related to smoking. So, to encourage you to quit, here’s a timetable offered by the American Lung Association that shows how your body responds and what happens when you quit smoking.
- 20 Minutes:
Your blood pressure and pulse rate drop, and your body temperature increases.
- 12 Hours:
Your body’s oxygen and carbon monoxide levels return to normal.
- 24 Hours:
Your chance of a heart attack decreases and continues to improve the longer you don’t smoke.
- 48 Hours:
Nerve endings start to regrow, and your ability to smell and taste improve.
- 2 Weeks to 3 Months:
Your blood circulation and lung capacity improve.
- 1 Month to 9 Months:
Sinus congestion, coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue are all reduced.
- 1 Year:
Your risk of coronary heart disease is decreased by half that of a smoker.
- 5 Years:
Stroke risk is reduced to the same level as a non-smoker.
- 10 Years:
Risk of lung cancer drops to less than half that of those who continue to smoke. Risk of throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas cancers, as well as cancer of the mouth, are all significantly decreased.
- 15 Years:
Risk of coronary heart disease is similar to non-smokers, and your risk of death returns almost to the same level as people who have never smoked.
It’s never too late to quit, and here’s the free national tobacco hotline to help you. Dial 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.smokefree.gov to get help and to quit smoking.