How Can I Safeguard My Health after Quitting?
You quit smoking. You can finally say #imaquitter! Now what? The good news is – and you’re probably starting to notice – your health begins to improve immediately. Throughout the first 15 years you stop smoking, there are so many reasons for #celebratingquitters. Monitoring your personal progress and keeping track of your gains with health scans is the best way to celebrate.
In the first two weeks to three months after quitting, you increase your lung function and decrease your risk of heart attack. In the first nine months, coughing and shortness of breath may decrease. After one year of saying #imaquitter, your risk of heart attack drops drastically. After only two to five years, your risk of stroke will be the same as a nonsmokers. When you celebrate five years smoke-free, you can also celebrate reducing your risk for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder by half. On your ten-year anniversary, you can celebrate your risk of lung cancer dropping in half, as well. By that time, your kidneys and pancreas will be functioning better, as well. In 15 years’ time, your risk of coronary heart disease drop to the same level as a non-smoker’s.
4 Steps for Smokers to Take After Quitting
As your health improves, it’s important to pay attention to the long-term effects of smoking on your health. There are four steps you can to safeguard your health after quitting.
- Keep quitting. Successful quitters are honest about the power of addiction. They know that living a tobacco-free life is about choosing to say #imaquitter each and every day. Staying mindful of your triggers will help you to remain vigilant and stay away from tobacco.
- Celebrate. Don’t forget to reward yourself for accomplishing your goal of quitting! Create a bucket list that you can unpack with your newfound freedom from smoking. How much were you spending on tobacco products each week? Each month? Each year? What was your shortness of breath or other side effects preventing you from doing? Keep finding new ways to celebrate.
- Get health scans regularly. After you quit smoking, it’s important to monitor your health. Getting annual lung scans is the single most effective tool in safeguarding against lung disease. There are other scans to ask your doctor about too. Smoking not only impacts your respiratory system, it also impacts your heart health, your cardiovascular system, and several other organs, as well.
- Don’t ignore the warning signs. The truth is, smoking has a negative impact on your health. Even though your health improves immediately once you quit smoking, there are still lingering effects to keep in mind.