Benefits of Quitting
- Quitting smoking at any age has benefits.1
- The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can begin to heal.1,2
- Tobacco smoke harms nonsmokers, too.1,3
- Quitting smoking is the single best way to protect your family from secondhand smoke.4
Reduced Risk for Various Health Issues
Some benefits of quitting smoking occur quickly; more occur over time. For example:
- Your risk for a heart attack drops sharply just 1 year after you quit smoking.
- After 2 to 5 years, your chance for stroke could fall to about the same as a nonsmoker's.
- Within 5 years of quitting, your chance of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half.
- Risks for other conditions—including ulcer, peripheral artery disease, and cancers of the larynx, lung, and cervix—are reduced after quitting.
- The risk of having a low birth weight baby drops to normal if you quit before pregnancy or during your first trimester.
Other Benefits of Quitting
- Health benefits for people with diabetes who quit smoking begin immediately and include having better control over blood sugar levels.1
- If you quit smoking, you will breathe better and it will be easier to be active.1
- By not smoking, you help protect family, friends, and coworkers from health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke. These include an increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer among adults. For babies and children, risks include respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).1,3
Tips for Quitting
Are you one of the more than 70% of smokers who want to quit? Then try following this advice.
1. Don’t smoke any cigarettes. Each cigarette you smoke damages your lungs, your blood vessels, and cells throughout your body. Even occasional smoking is harmful.
2. Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to—
- Be around for your loved ones?
- Have better health?
- Set a good example for your children?
- Protect your family from breathing other people’s smoke?
Really wanting to quit smoking is very important to how much success you will have in quitting.
3. Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Nicotine is addictive.a Knowing this will help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that can occur, such as bad moods and really wanting to smoke.
There are many ways smokers quit, including using nicotine replacement products (gum and patches) or FDA-approved, non-nicotine cessation medications. Some people do not experience any withdrawal symptoms. For most people, symptoms only last a few days to a couple of weeks.a Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time—whatever you need to succeed.
4. Get help if you want it. Smokers can receive free resources and assistance to help them quit by calling the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669). Your health care providers are also a good source for help and support.
Concerned about weight gain? It's a common concern, but not everyone gains weight when they stop smoking.b Learn ways to help youas you quit smoking.
5. Remember this good news! More than half of all adult smokers have quit, and you can, too.c Millions of people have learned to face life without a cigarette. Quitting smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of your family.
Reference: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Last updated April 20, 2017