First effects after just a few hours: What happens to your body when you quit smoking
- In Germany, around 120 people die each year.000 people due to tobacco consumption. Nevertheless, almost 24 percent of all men and women smoke.
- Although smoking does immense damage to the body, it recovers surprisingly quickly. The first effects can be felt just a few hours after your last cigarette.
- Even heavy smokers can regain the same level of health as nonsmokers. However, this takes several years.
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It’s one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: Quit smoking. The last cigarette has burned away. Lighters, ashtrays and matches relegated to the last corner of the kitchen cupboard. While you are still fully motivated on the first day of the new year, a nervous breakdown threatens a week later.
Many suffer a setback and then reach for the cigarette again. According to a study by the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine, around 70 percent of those who want to finally leave smoking behind want to do it on their own. Only three to seven percent of them are still abstinent a year later.
That it makes perfect sense to ban cigarettes from your life should be clear to everyone by now. Nevertheless, a quick reminder: 30 percent of all cancers are caused by tobacco smoke. In the case of lung or throat cancer, this figure is as high as 90 percent. One in two habitual smokers is likely to die as a result, according to the German Cancer Society. In Germany, there are 120.000 deaths due to tobacco use.
If you think quitting is no longer worth it after a certain point, you’re wrong. Despite the immense damage potential, our bodies recover surprisingly quickly – even among chain smokers. According to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), blood pressure drops after just 20 minutes. The risk of having a heart attack decreases after one day.
Food tastes better again after two days
Your sense of taste and smell has deteriorated due to daily cigarettes? Two days after quitting smoking your nerve endings start to regenerate. The circulation gets going again within two weeks to three months. Self-cleansing is now running at full speed, which also makes for better skin.
Smokers’ cough improves within one to nine months. You will puff less when climbing stairs, because shortness of breath will also decrease during this period. Your immune system becomes more robust again – and you are less susceptible to colds and infections.
Body can recover completely
Two years after your last cigarette, you have almost the same risk of cardiovascular disease as a non-smoker. Similarly, the likelihood of having a stroke decreases. And cancer also becomes less likely: after five years, the risk in the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus and urinary bladder drops by half.
Those who are abstinent for between ten and 25 years have a chance that the body will recover completely. In a study conducted at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, scientists studied nearly 9.000 heavy smokers accompanied in quitting. Within five years, the risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower. However, it took between ten and 25 years to get back to the same level as non-smokers.
People who smoke longer die sooner
The DKFZ estimates that smoking more than ten cigarettes a day takes an average of nine years off the lives of men and seven years off the lives of women. This calculation is based on a pan-European study (EPIC) on the relationship between diet, lifestyle factors and cancer. For more than 20 years, these factors have been documented by more than half a million Europeans.
DKFZ’s EPIC Center alone cares for more than 25.000 test subjects. The least favorable are heavily overweight heavy smokers who like to drink too much beer and constantly eat red meat. According to the researchers’ calculations, men with this risk profile can lose up to 17 years of life expectancy. For women it would be almost 14.
Another little motivation: You save a lot of money. A cigarette costs about 32 cents today. With ten cigarettes a day, you’ll save around 1 euro a year.160 Euro. Who smokes twenty cigarettes for twenty years, pays for it about 46.000 Euro. As much as for a caravan says the savings calculator of the action smoke-free.
Quitting smoking therefore makes sense in any case, but is not quite so easy. But you can still succeed with these six tips from the health insurance center.