Quit Smoking : Before and After

Before and After Quitting Smoking

Nicotine products, including cigarettes and vapes, are notoriously addictive, making the journey to quit smoking a challenging one. However, the silver lining is that the benefits of cessation begin almost immediately.

The NHS has highlighted that smoking increases the risk of over 50 serious health conditions. These include cancer, cardiovascular disease, lung damage, erectile dysfunction, and respiratory illnesses. But the question remains: how effectively can the body heal after quitting smoking?

Lungs

Before: Smoking severely damages the lungs, leading to increased mucus production and deterioration of lung tissue. This makes individuals more susceptible to infections. Continuous exposure affects airflow, reducing the oxygen supply to vital organs. Cigarette smoke paralyzes and even reduces the number of cilia, the microscopic hair-like structures in the lungs responsible for clearing mucus and dirt. This can result in a chronic cough, often termed ‘smoker’s cough’, or bronchitis. Moreover, smokers face a heightened risk of conditions like emphysema, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

After: Within weeks of quitting, individuals will find breathing easier. Within months, there’s a significant improvement in lung function, especially for COPD patients. The cilia begin to recover, clearing the airways more efficiently. After 10-15 years of cessation, the risk of lung cancer is halved.

Penis

Before: Smoking is linked to Erectile Dysfunction or difficulties in getting hard. Smoking can also reduce fertility with the volume of semen, sperm count, and percentage of motile sperm found to be lower in men who smoke compared to men who don’t smoke.

After: Quitting smoking can reverse its negative effects on semen and sperm quality. Most men will also notice an improvement in their sexual performance post-cessation. If issues persist, it’s essential to consult a medical professional, as it might indicate other underlying health concerns

Blood & Heart

Before: Smoking introduces harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide into the bloodstream, increasing the risk of hypertension, stroke, aneurysms, and peripheral artery disease. Smoking also increases your heart rate and has be shown through countless studies to have reduce life expectancy.

After: In just 20 minutes after quitting, the resting heart rate begins to normalize. Harmful chemicals start clearing from the blood, improving oxygen supply to vital organs. Within 2-4 years of cessation, the risk of stroke drops to that of non-smokers. After 1 to 2 years, your risk of a heart attack drops, and after 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is similar to a non-smoker.

If you want to know more about what’s in your blood, take a blood test with Hisential and screen for cholesterol, vitamins, liver function and kidney function.

Hair

Before: With the negative impact on circulation, smoking reduces the amount of nutrient- rich blood delivered to the scalp. Hair follicles then become starved of nutrients and oxygen, which shortens the growth stage of the hair cycle. A study on 1000 healthy men found that smokers were much more likely to experience hair loss than non-smokers. Studies have also found a link between smoking and the onset of grey hair.

After: Smoking cessation will prevent further signs of premature ageing, reducing the risk of grey hair and hair loss. If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s a good idea to seek treatment early to prevent further deterioration of the condition.

Teeth

Before: Beyond the well-known yellowing of teeth, smoking impairs taste and smell, increases susceptibility to oral diseases, and heightens the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.

After: Quitting smoking reduces the risk of these oral health issues, leading to healthier teeth and gums.

The bottom line

While smoking affects nearly every part of the body, the body’s recuperative abilities post-cessation are commendable. The benefits of quitting are immediate, and over time, many health complications caused by smoking can be reversed.

Hisential Clinic offers comprehensive lung health screenings. Contact us today to explore your treatment options.

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