Heart & Vascular Program

Heart Health

Lifestyle: Smoking

The benefits from quitting smoking can be seen very early and continue for many years:

20 minutes: blood pressure and pulse rate go down to normal.
Eight hours: carbon monoxide levels in blood drop and oxygen levels go up.
24 hours: chance of heart attack goes down.
48 hours: food tastes and smells better.
Two weeks to nine months: coughing, congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath go down and overall energy goes up.
One year: you are half as likely to get heart disease.
Five to fifteen years: your chance of lung cancer goes down by almost half, and your risk of dying is similar to someone who has never smoked.

We can provide you with assistance to quit smoking. When planning to quit, many smokers cut back on the number of cigarettes before they actually quit the habit for good. This may increase your confidence for your actual quit day. To help you get started, here are a few tips:

  • Make your home environment smoke-free. In addition to making smoking less convenient, this will also decrease the risks of second hand smoke to your loved ones.
  • Delay having the first cigarette after you wake up by about 15 minutes and then gradually lengthen the time you delay.
  • Cut back the amount you smoke each day. If you normally smoke 25 cigarettes, leave only 20 cigarettes in the package for the day.
  • Smoke only part of the cigarette. You will find that the number of cigarettes you smoke per day will be less.
  • Smoke a brand of cigarette that is less satisfying.
  • Some people smoke at particular times of the day. Cut out one or more of these cigarettes and do another activity, such as going for a walk, doing the dishes, playing an instrument or working on a crossword puzzle.
  • Spend more time in places where smoking is not permitted.