Q: Does quitting smoking lower the risk of cancer?

Q: Does quitting smoking lower the risk of cancer?
Q: Does quitting smoking lower the risk of cancer?

Quitting smoking substantially reduces the risk of developing and dying from cancer, and this benefit increases the longer a person remains smoke free.

However, even after many years of not smoking, the risk of lung cancer in former smokers remains higher than in people who have never smoked.

The risk of premature death and the chance of developing cancer due to cigarettes depend on the number of years of smoking, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the age at which smoking began, and the presence or absence of illness at the time of quitting.

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Q: What are the long-term benefits of quitting smoking?

Q: What are the long-term benefits of quitting smoking?
Q: What are the long-term benefits of quitting smoking?

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of cancer and other diseases, such as heart disease and lung disease, caused by smoking.

People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, are less likely than those who continue to smoke to die from smoking-related illness.

Studies have shown that quitting at about age 30 reduces the chance of dying from smoking-related diseases by more than 90 percent.

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Q: What are the immediate benefits of quitting smoking?

Q: What are the immediate benefits of quitting smoking?
Q: What are the immediate benefits of quitting smoking?

The immediate health benefits of quitting smoking are substantial.

Heart rate and blood pressure, which were abnormally high while smoking, begin to return to normal.

Within a few hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline.
(Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas found in cigarette smoke, reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.)

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Q: Does tobacco smoke contain harmful chemicals?

Q: Does tobacco smoke contain harmful chemicals?
Q: Does tobacco smoke contain harmful chemicals?

Yes. Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Breathing even a little tobacco smoke can be harmful. Of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful. The toxic chemicals found in smoke include hydrogen cyanide (used in chemical weapons), carbon monoxide (found in car exhaust), formaldehyde (used as an embalming fluid), ammonia (used in household cleaners), and toluene (found in paint thinners).

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Q: What health problems are caused by smoking?

Q: What health problems are caused by smoking?
Q: What health problems are caused by smoking?

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and diminishes a person’s overall health. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

Smoking also causes heart disease, stroke, lung disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), hip fractures, and cataracts. Smokers are at higher risk of developing pneumonia and other airway infections.

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Q: What can parents do?

Q: What can parents do?
Q: What can parents do?

If you smoke:
– avoid smoking around children, especially in the house or car;
– think about stopping smoking. For information on how to stop smoking, talk with your doctor, public health nurse, or the local lung association;

If someone else in your home smokes:

– ask them not to smoke near other members of the family;
– suggest they smoke outside the house, but not in the car;

Q: Then is all smoking damage permanent?

Q: Then is all smoking damage permanent?
Q: Then is all smoking damage permanent?

A: No, not if the smoker stops soon enough. In smokers who have stopped before the onset of irreversible heart and circulatory disease, the body begins to repair itself. Normally, after a year of non-smoking, the risk of a heart attack is halved; after ten to fifteen years of non-smoking, it’s about the same as that of someone who has never smoked.

While smoking, the risk for lung cancer continues to rise. However, once a person stops smoking, the risk for lung cancer levels off and may even decrease. The cough of chronic bronchitis usually disappears when smoking is dropped but the progression of emphysema may continue.

Q: Are there true withdrawal symptoms?

Q: Are there true withdrawal symptoms?
Q: Are there true withdrawal symptoms?

A: Yes, these symptoms include changes in temperature, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, and appetite. They also include irritability, anxiety, craving for tobacco, sleep disturbances, and other more ‘subjective’ symptoms. They generally diminish in seven days, but may not disappear entirely for weeks or months.