Smoking is bad for you. About that no one really has any doubt. If you smoke, quitting would be one of the best things you could do to improve your health - and your life. It doesn't matter how old you are or how long you have smoked: anyone can enjoy health benefits from quitting. Here is a quick rundown of a few of the perks of "butting out":
- Reduced risk of illness: Right away you will have reduced your odds of developing heart disease, breathing problems, cancer, or infections.
- Reduced risk of heart disease complications: Even if you have had a heart attack, quitting can slash your risk of having another heart attack by 50 percent.
- Reduced risk of dying: Say you quit before you are 50. Over the next 15 years, your risk of dying is half that of those who keep on smoking. And people who quit smoking after a heart attack will reduce their risk of dying prematurely by 50 percent.
- Reduced risk of pregnancy complications: Are you a female smoker hoping to become pregnant? Stop smoking before pregnancy or early in your pregnancy to reduce your chances of having a low birth weight baby, or of experiencing stillbirth or early infant death. Quitting isn't just good for the baby - it will improve your health too.
Your health is not the only thing that benefits from quitting smoking, though. Imagine all of the other things that will improve:
- You will save money. You will save a lot of money! Smoking is an expensive lifestyle to maintain. And when you quit smoking, you cut a bunch of expenses out of your budget. Think about the ever-rising cost of cigarettes or how much time and money you spend cleaning the scent of smoke out of your clothes, furniture, carpets, and your car. Your life and home insurance premiums may even decrease!
- You will look better. Smoking takes a toll on your appearance, causing wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. Leave the bad habit behind, and you will no longer have to deal with yellow teeth or yellow fingertips.
- You will feel better. Your energy will rebound, and you will have the time, money, freedom, and health you need to do things you really love. Food will taste better as your senses of smell and taste improve. The pride you will feel at accomplishing a challenging goal doesn't hurt either!
Whether you quit cold turkey or take your time, you can be sure that the payoff in the end will be well worth the effort.