A person who once had been a chain smoker can share better insights as to how quitting smoking potentially brings holistic transformations. From immediate effects to long term results, the struggle of quitting tobacco may potentially increase life expectancy as well. It is an appreciable decision that reflects the core determination of a tobacco consumer to regain better health back. While it surely is easy to adopt unhealthy habits, but it is far difficult to cut that out of your life. A study suggests that around 267 million adults (15 years and above) in India (29% of all adults) are users of tobacco. Today tobacco consumption is a major concern in the country; while its adverse effects are much talked about the impact of tobacco cessation should also be widely discussed in order to inspire those who are already struggling hard to quit this habit.
Tobacco cessation and diseases:-
First of all, quitting tobacco is a protection shield from every adverse effect it can cause to the body depending upon the severity of the disease affected the person. In many cases, people decide to quit tobacco after catching severe diseases. And the results are always evident. Although the idea of tobacco consumption in any form is not appreciable at all, it is better late than never for a tobacco consumer as well. Self-realisation is the key. Studies suggest that quitting smoking after getting a heart attack can potentially reduce the risk of getting another heart attack by 50%. Even WHO suggests one year after quitting tobacco the risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker. Ten years of quitting tobacco reduces the risk of lung cancer and it falls to about half that of a smoker and the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases. Quitting smoking reduces the progression among COPD patients. It helps in the better functioning of the lungs.
Although in many severe cases the irreversible effects of tobacco consumption cannot be corrected but quitting it may help to ensure better survival even with the disease.
Immediate and long term effects of tobacco cessation:-
According to WHO if one quits smoking, then within 20 minutes heart rate and blood pressure drop, and after 12 hours the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Then day after day and week after week results start getting more apparent. These immediate effects can be inspiring factors for a person struggling hard to quit tobacco. In long run, these small baby steps will add to a better standard of living. Start it from today.
Improves life expectancy:-
While quitting tobacco in long run keeps on adding to the health benefits, along with that it tends to increase the quality of life. Being a slave of your impulse and start smoking had done nothing all the years in past than to provide sheer temporary relief, which even in long term only added to the prevailing stress. The reduced risk of lifestyle diseases, better mental and physical health complemented with a set of exercises and a healthy lifestyle surely adds to the life expectancy of a person. WHO confirms that at about 30 tobacco cessations may benefit with the gain of almost 10 years of life expectancy, at about 40 it is 9 years and at about 50 it is 6 years of life expectancy! Determination is the key.
How to prepare ourselves for tobacco cessation:-
As far as the consumption of tobacco is concerned socio-economic characteristics very much influence even the smaller habit. Still, one needs to understand that our body tends to get trained with the lifestyle choices we make and the behavioural patterns we develop. Tobacco consumption not only affects the consumer but also the people associated with that person. Acknowledging one’s social responsibility can inspire further to adopt certain healthy and positive changes for the sake of others as well. Giving it a try then gradually reducing the consumption can work.
If mental health and other factors are included and addictions are more than just temporary reliefs then managing one’s craving and temptations can be a difficult task, especially it has been there for years. There are many NGOs and helplines out there from where help can be sought.
The author of the article is Dr. Anshuman Kumar, Director – Surgical Oncology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi