Immediate Benefits of Quitting
In the first 20 minutes after putting your cigarette out, your blood pressure and pulse will return to normal.
Within the first day of quitting smoking cigarettes, your risk of heart attack will start to drop.
After two weeks without smoking, your circulation will increase.
Long Term Benefits of Quitting
Within the first 9 months of quitting you’ll notice that you cough less and breathe better.
A year after putting your cigarette out, your risk of smoking related heart disease and stroke is cut in half.
By the time you reach your 5th year without smoking, your risk of a stroke is just the same as someone who hasn’t smoked.
And in 10 years, your risk of lung cancer drops significantly.
15 years after you make the decision to stop smoking cigarettes, you have almost the same risk of heart disease as that of a non-smoker.
Supporting a smoker who’s quitting
It’s important to remember that you cannot make a friend or loved ones give up smoking cigarettes.
In order for effective and long-term change, the decision to quit has to be theirs. If they do decide to stop smoking, you can be there to offer support and help facilitate the process.
First and foremost, talk to them about their plan to quit, their triggers and how they feel they might need your help. It is important to avoid judgement and negativity as they plan their smoke-free life.
You can help overcome cravings by encouraging the smoker in your life to pursue other activities with you or join them when they decide to take up a hobby to occupy their mind. In addition, you can help prepare their environment to be a smoke free one by removing cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia that might trigger or distract them as they embark on changing their life.