Quitting smoking at any age will help to improve your health!
Once you stop smoking:
- you will reduce your chances of cancer and heart disease
- your fitness will improve
- you will increase your chances of living longer and spending quality time with your family and friends
- you won’t be exposing your family to dangerous second-hand smoke
What happens to your body the moment you stop smoking?
- 20 minutes blood pressure drops to normal
- pulse rate drops to normal
- temperature of hands and feet increase to normal
- 8 hours carbon monoxide level in blood returns to normal
- oxygen level in blood returns to normal
- 24 hours the immediate risk of heart attack starts to fall
- 48 hours nerve endings start to regrow
- ability to taste and smell enhanced
- 14 days circulation improves
- walking becomes easier
- lung function increases up to 30%
- 1 month most nicotine withdrawal symptoms disappear
- 3 months lung function improves
- nagging cough disappears
- cilia regrow in the lungs, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean themselves and reduce infection
- 1 year excess risk of coronary heart disease half that of a smoker
- 5 years risk of lung cancer decreases by half
- stroke risk same as non smoker
- risk of mouth, throat and oesophagus cancer half that of a smoker
- 10 years lung cancer death rate same as non smoker
- pre-cancerous cells replaced
- 15 years lung risk of coronary heart disease same as a non smoker
- if you smoked 20 a day, you’ve saved over $100,000 (assuming $20 per pack of 20)
Most people know there are possible long-term consequences from regular smoking, but don’t think too much about what those consequences might be. Make no mistake – regular smoking dramatically increases your chance of developing serious conditions like:
- lung and other cancers
- coronary heart disease
- emphysema and other chronic lung diseases
- gum disease
Quitting smoking will give you more money for other things:
Have you ever sat down and worked out just how much you spend on cigarettes, and what you could do with that money if you didn’t smoke? It’s a worthwhile exercise. You will probably be surprised just how it adds up. Make a list of the things you could do with that money – if you saved for a week, or a month, or a year.
Quit Cost Calculator
Friends and family
When you smoke around family and friends, they smoke too.
If you smoke at home, in the car or at work, the people with you are breathing in your cigarette smoke. This is called passive smoking and the smoke they are breathing in is called second-hand smoke.
No amount of passive or second-hand smoke is safe.
Babies and young children breathe faster than adults, so they take in more smoke in smoky rooms than adults, and take longer to clear the poisons from tobacco smoke from their bodies. Smaller airways and tiny ear passages affected by tobacco smoke get blocked more easily.
Not smoking around children reduces their risk of:
- chest infections, coughs and colds, ear infections and hearing problems
- problems with learning and behaviour caused by sickness and missing school.
Cigarette smoke stays on clothing, skin, carpet and fabric even after the smell has gone, causing risks to children even after the cigarette has been smoked.
Here are some tips to protect your family from the harms of second-hand smoke:
- Smoke outside, away from open doors, windows and washing lines.
- Wear a shirt over normal clothes when smoking and remove the over-shirt before holding the baby.
- Wash your face and hands after every cigarette.
- Move away from others when they smoke.
- Use stickers to tell others your home and car are smoke-free zones.
Smoking during pregnancy
Smoking when you’re pregnant can:
- make it harder for your baby to get the food and oxygen it needs
- increased chance of a miscarriage
- cause your baby to be born sickly
- cause your labour to be more difficult and increase the chance of your baby dying at birth
- cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) after your baby is born
- make your baby sick throughout its life
- increase the chance of your child becoming a smoker later in life.
It is never too late to quit smoking during pregnancy to improve both your own health and that of your baby.
If you are an Aboriginal woman living in South Australia who smokes, and you are pregnant or thinking about starting a family, there are several things you can do to quit:
- Call the Aboriginal Health Council on 8273 7200 to find out how to join an Expecting Mums Yarning Group in your area where you can get tips on how to quit and talk to other Aboriginal women who are in the same boat as you.
- Visit your Aboriginal Health Service for support and advice about cutting down or quitting.
- Visit your GP to get nicotine replacement therapy (an inhaler, gum or lozenges) to help you cut down or quit. Nicotine Replacement Therapies are free to you as an Aboriginal person trying to quit smoking.
Smoking when breastfeeding
If you smoke and are breastfeeding, the best thing you can do for your baby is quit or cut down, because this will stop lots of poisons being passed to your baby through breast milk. If you can’t manage this, you should keep breastfeeding, because it will help protect your baby against sickness. You should breastfeed your baby just before smoking (or using Nicotine Replacement Therapy) to reduce the amount of nicotine your baby will get in breast milk.