Giving up Smoking
Giving up smoking is considered the greatest single measure a smoker can take to improve their health. It significantly increases the likelihood of living a longer and healthier life by reducing the risk of death or suffering from smoking-related diseases, which include coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
Undoubtedly, it takes considerable commitment and willpower to stop smoking. Nevertheless, concentrating on the benefits of giving up smoking can be excellent motivation.
The decrease in death rates in people under 65 years from stroke, coronary heart disease, and particular types of cancer in the past 25 years has been in large part attributed to a fall in the number of smokers.
There are numerous reasons to stop smoking, the most important being a longer life expectancy and better quality of life. Research shows that those who stop smoking before the age of 35 possess a life expectancy which is only a little shorter than those who have never smoked. Furthermore, people who quit smoking before 50 years old can approximately halve their risk of dying from a smoking-related condition. Other more specific health benefits you are likely to experience after stopping smoking are improved breathing due to an increase in lung capacity, decrease in the number of chest infections, removal of a ‘smoker’s cough’ and an improved appearance as you reach old age from fewer wrinkles and less teeth discolouration. Your sense of taste and smell will also improve because there are no longer any toxic substances from the cigarette smoke reducing these senses.
Once you have made the decision to quit smoking, visiting a GP can be extremely beneficial to give you support, advice and treatment to make giving up easier. Help can also be given to minimise any side-effects when stopping smoking.
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