Reasons to Go Tobacco-Free

When a strong craving hits, it can be easy to lose sight of the benefits of quitting. You might lose your focus, but there is no good reason to use tobacco. Remind yourself of the rewards of quitting to help yourself stay on track.

  • 20 minutes: heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • 2 weeks-3 months: circulation and lung function improves; heart attack risk begins to drop
  • 1-9 months: cough less; breathe easier
  • 1 year: risk of coronary heart disease cut in half
  • 2-5 years: risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder cut in half; stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-tobacco user
  • 10 years: half as likely to die from lung cancer; risk of kidney or pancreatic cancer decreases
  • 15 years: risk of coronary heart disease the same as non-smoker’s risk

Immediate rewards. There is no safe amount of nicotine. Your blood carries the toxins to every organ in your body. But after you quit, your body begins to heal. The nicotine leaves your body within three days. As your body starts to repair itself, you may feel worse instead of better. Withdrawal can be difficult, but it’s a sign that your body is healing.

Long-term rewards. Quitting can help you add years to your life. You can take control of your health by quitting and staying tobacco-free. Over time, you’ll greatly lower your risk of death from lung cancer and other diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other kinds of cancer.

Quitting is more important than ever as those who use tobacco products are more likely to develop a severe case of COVID-19 compared to nicotine-free individuals.

When you quit, you’ll set a good example and show your family that a life without tobacco is possible.

If you need assistance in your efforts to quit using tobacco products, BHS can help. Your Care Coordinator is available by calling 800-245-1150.