Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Fact sheet about health benefits of smoking cessation

1. There are immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting for all smokers.

Beneficial health changes that take place:

  • Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2-12 weeks, your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker's.
  • 5 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
  • 10 years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.

2. People of all ages who have already developed smoking-related health problems can still benefit from quitting.

Benefits in comparison with those who continued:

  • At about 30: gain almost 10 years of life expectancy.
  • At about 40: gain 9 years of life expectancy.
  • At about 50: gain 6 years of life expectancy.
  • At about 60: gain 3 years of life expectancy.
  • After the onset of life-threatening disease: rapid benefit, people who quit smoking after having a heart attack reduce their chances of having another heart attack by 50%.

3. Quitting smoking decreases the excess risk of many diseases related to second-hand smoke in children.

Quitting smoking decreases the excess risk of many diseases related to second-hand smoke in children, such as respiratory diseases (e.g., asthma) and ear infections.

4. Others benefits.

Quitting smoking reduces the chances of impotence, having difficulty getting pregnant, having premature births, babies with low birth weights and miscarriage.


Reference

1. Mahmud, A, Feely, J. Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification. Hypertension. 2003; 41(1):183-7.
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. DHHS Publication No. (CDC) 88-8406. 1988.
3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. DHHS Publication No. (CDC) 90-8416. 1990.
4. Doll R, Peto R, Boreham J, Sutherland I. Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years' observations on male British doctors. BMJ. 2004; 328(7455):1519-1527.
5.US Department of Health and Human Services 2004, The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General, US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.

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