Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done. Why quitting is so important? Cigarette smoking kills 178,000 U.S. women each year. More women die of lung cancer than of breast cancer. Smoking puts women at higher risk for cervical and other cancers, infertility, pregnancy complications, early menopause, osteoporosis, emphysema, coronary heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, thyroid disease and more. Those risks begin to decline almost immediately when you quit:
- After 20 minutes, your blood pressure decreases;
- After eight hours, your oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels are normal;
- After 24 hours, your risk of heart attack decreases;
- After 48 hours, your nerve endings start regrowing;
- At two weeks to three months, your circulation and lung function improve;
- At one year, your coronary heart disease risk is reduced by half;
- At five to 15 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of nonsmokers;
- At 10 years, your lung cancer risk is cut to half that of smokers;
- At 15 years, your risk of death is nearly the same as for those who never smoked.
To have the best chance of quitting successfully, you need to know what you’re up against, what your options are, and where to go for help. Visit Cancer.org for the support you need. Why? Because you’re worth it!