More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.   Even worse, smoking is responsible for 500,000 deaths a year nationwide. Smokers live an average of 10 years less than non-smokers. Most adult smokers want to quit and nearly half have attempted cessation.

No one has ever regretted quitting smoking.  The health benefits of quitting happen almost immediately and continue for up to 20 years.

Here is a timeline of health benefits after quitting:

20 minutes: Heart Rate drops

12 hours: Carbon Monoxide level in blood goes back to normal

14 days to 3 months: Heart Attack risk begins to decrease and lung function begins to improve

1 to 9 months: Coughing and shortness of breath starts to decrease

1 year: The increased risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s

5 years: Stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker

10 years: Lung Cancer death rate is half what a smoker’s is. Your risks of other types of cancer associated with smoking also decrease.

15 years: Risk of Coronary Heart Disease is the same as a non-smoker.

Kicking this habit can be hard, but it is possible. There are endless tools and resources out there to help. These are some of the tools you can use:

  • Group and Individual Counseling
  • Quitline Service: Call 1-800-784-8669 for free telephone support.
  • Medication
  • Hypnosis
  • Acupuncture