Find out the many ways smoking can impact your overall health.
So, you’re thinking about quitting smoking, but you’re not sure where to begin. Our Brandon, FL, primary care physicians, Drs. Joel & Elizabeth Biggers, are glad to hear that you want to ditch this seriously unhealthy habit. They can even provide you with programs, treatment options, and other recommendations to ensure that you finally kick smoking to the curb. Wondering why you should quit? Here are the many ways smoking can affect your health:
Smoking Affects Your Heart
Cigarettes have a profound effect on your cardiovascular health. For instance, smokers are far more likely to develop heart disease or experience a stroke than non-smokers. Smoking causes the blood vessels to thicken and narrow, which increases blood pressure and causes the heart to beat faster. You don’t even have to be a heavy smoker in order to develop heart disease (even less than five cigarettes a day is enough to increase your risk). After just one year of quitting you can cut your risk for coronary heart disease in half.
Smoking Damages Lungs
Smoking can cause long-term damage to the airways and increase the likelihood of dealing with conditions such as:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Lung cancer
If you have asthma, just being around secondhand smoke alone can trigger an asthma attack. While smoking can cause detrimental effects to your respiratory system, the good news is that even in as little as one month after quitting, your lung function will improve. You may suddenly notice that it’s easier to take a full breath, you may not get as winded going up stairs or you may cough less.
Smoking Increases Your Risk for Cancer
Smoking isn’t just responsible for lung cancer, it can also increase your risk for developing cancer anywhere in the body including the liver, pancreas, stomach, colon, and esophagus. Smoking also increases your risk for cancer-related death. Fortunately, by quitting smoking, you can reduce your risk for different cancers including lung cancer. In as little as five years, your risk for certain cancers, such as esophagus and mouth cancer, are cut in half, and cervical cancer risk is the same as a non-smoker.
Prioritize Your Health
Stub that cigarette out and take control of your life; it’s never too late. If you are dealing with any health concerns or issues, know that the team at Biggers Family Medicine are still here for you, even during these challenging times. We can provide drive-up appointments to minimize exposure and to keep patients healthy. To schedule an appointment please call (813) 655-4646.