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What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Smoking

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Smoking

Kicking the smoking habit is one of the best things you can do for your current and future health. At Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep, we offer a customized smoking cessation program that helps you confront the desire to smoke and your physical craving for nicotine.

Our pulmonary experts, Himanshu Chandarana, MD, and Ashok Tyagi, DO, CPE, also provide educational resources that motivate you to quit for good. 

A strong motivator for many people is the almost immediate health benefits that stopping smoking offers.

Health benefits in the early stages of quitting smoking

Soon after you smoke your last cigarette, your body’s natural healing processes kick in. Within 20 minutes of your last smoke, your heart rate lowers and blood pressure drops. Also, blood circulation through your body improves.

Within 12 hours, your body begins clearing carbon monoxide and other cigarette toxins from your lungs. Your oxygen levels increase.

In the first week after quitting smoking, your risk factors for heart attack decline, nicotine levels in your body decrease, and your sense of taste and smell returns.

After one month without cigarettes, your pulmonary function improves, and your lungs heal. You have more physical energy and experience less coughing and mucus production.

Within a year, your risk of coronary heart disease decreases by half and continues to drop as long as you remain smoke-free.

Long-term benefits of quitting smoking

When you go five years without smoking, your body heals on even more levels. Blood vessels narrowed by smoking begin to widen, which reduces your risks of blood clots and stroke.

In 10 years, your risk of lung cancer drops by half. Additionally, the risks of throat, mouth, and pancreatic cancer also decrease. By year 20, your risks of many smoking-related diseases are as low as for someone who never smoked.

What to expect from a smoking cessation program

Stopping smoking is often difficult because of the withdrawal effects quitting nicotine causes. Within a few days of smoking your last cigarette, you may experience headaches, irritability, and persistent cravings for nicotine that are hard to control.

Our smoking cessation program provides tools to overcome these challenges as comfortably as possible. Our pulmonary experts can prescribe medications or recommend wearable nicotine patches that minimize the severity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

We understand how the journey to quitting can impact your physical, mental, and emotional health. Our physicians provide ongoing support to help you reach your goal of becoming a former smoker.

Additionally, we provide preventive screenings for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and other lung diseases that smoking can cause. We also offer strategies to rebuild lung function and health.

Call Stat Care Pulmonary and Sleep in St. Petersburg, Florida, today to schedule a smoking cessation consultation. 

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