Smoking sounds serious. Does quitting really help?
· Within 20 minutes of quitting, a smoker’s heart rate returns to normal.
· Within 24-48 hours of quitting, CO levels in the blood return to normal, improving the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen throughout the body.
· Within 2 days of quitting, damaged nerve endings start to regrow, and the sense of smell and taste improves.
· Within 3 days of quitting, breathing becomes easier.
· Within 2 weeks to 3 months of quitting, circulation in the gums returns to that of a never smoker, heart attack risk drops, and lung function improves.
· Within 1 year of quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke drop to half that of a smoker.
· Within 5 years of quitting, stroke risk returns to that of never smokers.
· Within 15 years of quitting, coronary heart disease risk returns to that of a never smokers.
· Quitting can decrease depression and anxiety. It can also increase positive mood and quality of life.
· For those also trying to quit drug or alcohol use, smoking cessation improves long-term abstinence from illicit drugs and alcohol by 25%.
· The year after NC passed a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, ED visits for heart attacks dropped 21%!
Okay, so quitting is good. How can we help patients quit?