If that is the case then please consider the following list as an outline of personal health benefits for what happens when you quit smoking.
It has been estimated that roughly 90% of all lung cancer is related to smoking. Again, you would think that should be enough to convince smokers to give up the habit. But many may hear this message for the first time after they've already smoked for 40 years. That may cause them to think they are past the point of no return and thus, continue smoking. However, studies have shown a reduced risk for lung cancer when people quit. For those who quit smoking for 10 years, the risk is 30-50% less than current smokers. In addition, after 15 years of cessation, the risk may be 80-90% less than current smokers. So here is one positive example of what happens when you quit smoking.
A literature review found a reduction of coronary heart disease risk by 36% in people who had quit smoking. This is a slightly better risk reduction for heart disease than is seen with other cardiac interventions, like cholesterol medication or baby aspirin. So, for those who smoke and take a statin drug, why not lower your risk another 30% or so by stopping smoking?
3. Lung Disease
Studies also show the progression of chronic lung disease (COPD/emphysema) is slowed after quitting smoking. The earlier you quit, the less damage you have. This translates to a much better quality of life with less dependence on the medical community. This includes using inhalers, nebulizers, oxygen and perhaps even non-invasive ventilation (CPAP). The important benefit here is in lifestyle. Simply put, people who suffer from COPD have a very confining and debilitating quality of life. Oftentimes they cannot leave their house and must rely on others for their simple activities of daily living like bathing, cooking, etc. Former smokers also report less coughing and phlegm (mucous) after one year. Lung disease avoidance is perhaps one of the best answers to the question about what happens when you quit smoking. The sooner you quit, the less lung disease you have.
Nicotine has extremely adverse effects on the baby. It is easily transmitted through the mother's bloodstream and in the breast milk of nursing moms. Their unborn child receives a wonderful stop smoking benefit. Women who smoke usually have smaller babies (less than 5.5 lbs), and those babies are 2-3 times more likely to die from SIDS than babies born to non-smokers. When babies are born prematurely, they may be developmentally and physically disabled. Finally, smoking doubles the risk for excessive bleeding during delivery. This puts both the mom and baby at risk.
5. Oral Hygiene
Healthy gums and teeth are great when you have them. Ask anyone in Hollywood how far yellow teeth and swollen gums will get you. Life is a lot better when you donít have to worry about your teeth. Who wants to go to the dentist when a lot of work has to be done? Not me, thatís for sure. Oral lesions can quickly turn to cancer if not detected early. Oral cancer is a primary and growing concern for the dental community and has become a priority for the American Academy of Periodontology. Smoking also worsens tooth decay and periodontal disease, as well as, causes stains and bad breath. Treatment plans that involve periodontal surgery are exacerbated by the slow healing times and inflamed gums in smokers. Luckily, smoking cessation results in immediate oral health benefits. Swollen gums return to normal. Friendly bacteria returns to the mouth and breath becomes immediately improved.
So here are just 5 answers to the question about what happens when you quit smoking. There are lots of other immediate benefits like improved sense of taste and smell. Blood pressure may improve. Greater time management, reduction in fire risk, better sense of well-being, etc. But itís these longer term benefits which really provide you with the reasons to quit smoking. The other smaller benefits are just interesting conversation banter for when someone asks you what happens when you quit smoking.