While it's known that smoking leads to lung cancer, those who smoke long-term are at a higher risk of developing other kinds of cancer. We’ll look at the benefits of quitting, how you can stop when you’re an older adult, and how Voyage Healthcare can help with cessation (quitting smoking).
Benefits to Quitting
There are many benefits to cessation, no matter your age. Within only 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate lower. Subsequently, at 12 hours you’ll find that carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal. Two weeks following quitting points to improvements in circulation and lung function.
Following a year of quitting, the risk for coronary heart disease will be half of what it was when smoking. Five years after quitting, the risk of stroke reduces, and at ten years the risk of lung cancer and other cancers decrease.
Other Benefits to Quitting:
- Reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer
- Fewer illnesses like colds, the flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia
- Improvements in circulation and lung function
- More stamina and energy
- Improvements in self-esteem
- Save money
However you choose to quit, whether it’s a planned process or cold turkey, the benefits of cessation are almost immediate.
Quitting Smoking When You’re Older
The sooner you quit smoking the better, but did you know that the Center for Disease Control states that 9 out of 100 adults (65+) smoke, and 15 out of 100 adults (18+) smoke, which equates to 37.8 million adults who smoke cigarettes? Older smokers tend to utilize brands with a higher nicotine concentration, and they often use more than younger adults.
Deciding to stop smoking when you’re older has both challenges and advantages. You may have even tried to stop previously, but couldn’t, or you may say, "I have smoked for so long, what good will quitting do at this point in my life?"
Knowing that quitting will be tough often leads to discouragement, but older adults have experienced accomplishing tasks, and those who are older smokers might be at a better point in their lives where quitting is needed rather than wanted.
Have the Urge to Smoke? Try the 4 D’s to Get You Through It!
1. Delay: Give yourself 10 minutes, and repeat if needed.
2. Deep Breaths: Slowly breathe through your nose and out through your mouth. Close your eyes if needed or picture your lungs filling up with fresh air.
3. Drink Water: Drink slowly, sip by sip.
4. Do Something: Move around, do a hobby, or find something that takes your mind off the urge to smoke.
How Voyage Healthcare Can Help with Cessation
Don’t let fear stop you from taking a step to bettering your life. Schedule an appointment with your provider today to talk about how you can quit smoking and create a customized plan to get you on the right track.
If you still have questions about smoking or any other health-related issue, view our FREE downloadable guide!