Short & Long-term Effects of Quitting Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

You don’t need a rocket scientist to know that smoking is bad for your health. The side effects of smoking can be categorized into two – the short term and long term. Such consequences should not be overlooked as they could expose your body to serious danger.

Short-term Effects of Smoking

The immediate health effects of cigarette smoking seem endless, but the following are the most common:

  • Increased hear rate
  • Impaired blood flow
  • Awful breath
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • Continuous coughing
  • Weakened immune system
  • Reduced potency in men
  • Reduced fertility in women

Even though they are considered short-term, these side effects should not be ignored because overtime, they could result to a more serious problem. For example, the immediate effects of smoking, such as increased blood pressure, could increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke. Add the fact that smoking impedes blood flow, which is critical to your cardiovascular health.


Long-term Effects of Smoking

If the short-term effects of smoking are not enough to keep you motivated to ditch the habit for good, you may be interested in knowing its long-term ill effects. They include the following:


  • Lung disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Cancer (affecting different parts of the body, such as the mouth, stomach, lung, cervix, breast, etc)
  • Ulcer
  • Premature aging
  • Miscarriage
  • Ulcer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Early death

Quit Smoking Today

Quitting smoking now is the best way to prevent the possibility of developing any of these effects (short or long-term). Studies have shown that non-smokers live 14-15 years longer than smokers, on average. Don’t ever think that just because you have been smoking for years now, there’s no purpose of stopping. Research has shown that the effects of smoking are cumulative. Meaning the more you smoke, the more side effects you experience. Giving up the habit can therefore free you from the negative consequences listed above, particularly in the long-term section.

The only hurdle that many smokers face in quitting is the addictive nature of cigarettes. If you are addicted to nicotine, chances are, you will have a hard time eliminating the habit from your lifestyle. It’s good to know, however, that there are proven ways to quit smoking now. If you have tried counseling or talk therapy but still you find yourself giving in to your nicotine urges, you may consider taking prescription medications such as Chantix. Such drugs are formulated to block the nicotine receptors in your brain, making cigarettes less pleasurable. As a result, your desire to smoke will wane. Chantix has helped many people quit smoking for as short as 12 days. You can also consider other smoking cessation methods, such as nicotine replacement therapy. Whichever method you choose, always consult your doctor to see if the quit smoking treatment you will be using is suitable to your health condition and your needs.



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