Friday, June 28, 2013

On the Day a Smoker Quits

I suspect the few cigarettes I consumed as a kid had a greater impact on my teeth than on my lungs -- they were candy cigarettes. Still, as I sat in the doctor's office yesterday, I was fascinated with the poster on the wall about the changes in the body when a person has smoked that last cigarette, when he or she has quit smoking.

The thing that amazed me was how adaptable our bodies are. We were made to be healthy. God created us so that we can rejuvenate. We see that when we watch a cut heal or experience relief when dislocated bones are put back into place. Our skin recycles every two weeks; the entire human skeleton is thought to be replaced every ten years or so in adults! (source) This is just one more evidence of God's grace, that we should be designed for renewal and health.

If you are a smoker, or if you know a smoker, you should know what will happen once that last cigarette is smoked. Here's what the poster says:
Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of change that continue for years. 
20 Minutes After Quitting
Your heart rate drops. 
12 Hours After Quitting
Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. 
2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
Your lung function begins to improve. 
1 to 9 Months After Quitting
Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease. 
1 Year After Quitting
Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's. 
5 Years After Quitting
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's 5-15 years after quitting. 
10 Years After Quitting
Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker's.
Your risk or cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
15 Years After Quitting
Your risk or coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker's.
It sounds like a win-win to me.

(View the poster here.)

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