For both the lungs and the heart, quitting smoking is a big deal. Smokers have a higher risk of both lung cancer and coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks.
In the case of lung cancer, smokers are 20 times more likely to die from this compared to non-smokers, but the situation for ex-smokers improves over time.
The risk of developing coronary heart disease, another condition linked to smoking that can lead to heart attacks or angina, will also fall after quitting smoking. Staying smoke-free for a year could cut the risk of heart disease associated with smoking in half
If the improvements inside the body aren’t immediately apparent enough for a celebration of the progress made when a smoker quits, there are plenty of visible bodily benefits as well.
Smoking can cause skin to sag, wrinkle or change colour. There are studies that suggest that some damage to skin caused by smoking can be undone by quitting.
Have you noticed any changes in the skin of someone you know who has quit? If so tell them, so they know they’re making progress
Of course smoking doesn’t only impact the person who smokes. There are consequences for friends and family too.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, more than 250 Canadians die each year from lung cancer as a result of long term exposure to secondhand smoke.
If you spend a lot of time around someone who has now given up smoking, celebrate the fact that this has made both of you healthier.
These benefits don’t just centre on the impact on the heart and lungs. Things like snoring can also be increased by smoking.
If your sleep has been interrupted by a smoker’s snoring, make sure they know that their snoring could be decreased by continuing their journey to a smoke-free life if they keep up their quit attempt.
Your own snoring may also be reduced. One study found that even non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to be habitual snorers than non-smokers who were not exposed to secondhand smoke