While greatly reducing the likelihood of premature death and respiratory diseases are the main benefits of quitting smoking, there are additional health benefits that can develop if this habit is removed. People who quit smoking can reduce cold and flu virus infections and improve their overall health. The health benefits of quitting smoking should not be taken for granted. As soon as a smoker quits, these benefits begin immediately, especially with regard to improving blood circulation and stabilizing blood pressure. The long-term effects of this lifestyle change are overwhelming and can include:
After 5 years:
5 to 15 years after quitting, the risk of stroke is reduced to that of people who have never had it have smoked.
At 10 years old:
The risk of lung cancer drops to half the risk of persistent smokers.
Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases
The risk of ulcers decreases At 15 years:
The risk of coronary artery disease is now similar to that of people who have never smoked
The risk of death almost returns to the level of people who have never smoked
Despite these health benefits, countless smokers still don’t give up the habit. Health specialists suggest that this phenomenon occurs due to nicotine addiction. Nicotine is an active ingredient in the cigarette that can stimulate the brain and deliver an adrenaline rush, a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter. An adrenaline rush can provide a shot of energy and the so-called experience of being “high”. With regular smokers’ levels of nicotine decreasing, withdrawal symptoms usually appear, which may include restlessness, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and craving for another smoke. These smokers have to smoke regularly to feel normal. A condition that can lead to addiction and quit smoking becomes more difficult.
People who have difficulty quitting smoking can try to alleviate nicotine addiction by consuming NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products, including nicotine skin patches, sprays, and gums. It has been scientifically proven that these products help people who want to quit smoking. NRT products temporarily provide the body with nicotine other than through cigarettes. This helps calm the physical withdrawal symptoms of cigarette smoking. A study by the American Family Physician (AFP), a peer-reviewed journal, suggests that smokers who used NRT quit smoking 2.27 times more often than those who did not. The report added that people who used NRT products of any kind were 1.72 times more likely to be smoke-free after six months or more.
NRT products are usually safe, but some people may experience side effects such as depression, palpitations, irritability, sinusitis, and breathing problems. For this reason, people wishing to try NRT products should seek healthcare professional approval to clarify side effects and drug interactions that may occur while taking medication. Pregnant women and people with coronary artery disease should be tested and evaluated before taking NRT products.
People who have a hard time giving up the habit can try using nicotine suppressants. However, these products cannot do all the work. The most effective way to quit smoking involves determination, discipline, and commitment to permanently quit the habit. Using these products can help smokers reduce the habit by better adapting to a life without cigarettes. With the right tools and settings, quitting smoking and reducing the development of heart disease can be easier than others think.
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