Pros & Cons of Quitting Smoking
To enhance motivation to quit smoking, each person should try to identify their own personal pros and cons of smoking and quitting. The following are some examples to get you started.
• eases tension
• improves concentration
• controls appetite
• enhances pleasure, relaxation
• provides social interaction
Immediate and Long-term
• shortness of breath • heart attacks and stroke
• worsening asthma • lung and other cancers
• pregnancy-related risks • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• infertility • peripheral vascular disease
• increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease in family members
• greater rates of smoking in children of smokers
• higher rates of sudden infant death syndrome, asthma, middle ear infections
and respiratory infections in children of smokers
• increased fire hazards
• enhanced sense of taste and smell
• money saved
• improved quality of life
• enhanced performance in sports/leisure activities
• better smelling home, car, breath and clothes
• setting good example for children
• healthy infants and children
• freedom from addiction
• withdrawal symptoms
• grief reaction
• loss of a close friend
• missing the break that smoking provides
• losing friends that smoke
• loss of enjoyment of smoking-related activities
• weight gain
• The risk of sudden cardiac death in smokers reduces significantly as soon as they quit smoking.
This is mainly due to the decrease in carbon monoxide and catecholamines.
• Smoking cessation increases life expectancy. People who quit smoking before age 50 have 50% less risk of dying in the next
15 years compared with continuing smokers.
• Benefits of cessation extend to quitting at older ages. A healthy man aged 60 to 64 smoking a pack of cigarettes or more a day
reduces by 10% the risk of dying during the next 15 years if he quits smoking.
• After 10 years of abstinence, the risk of lung cancer is about 30% to 50% of the risk for continuing smokers. This risk continues to
decline with further abstinence.
• Smoking cessation reduces the risk of cancers of the larynx, oral cavity, esophagus, pancreas and urinary bladder. In some cases
(including cervical and bladder cancers), this risk reduction occurs in the first few years after cessation.
• The excess risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) from smoking is reduced by 50% after one year of abstinence and then declines gradually. After 15 years of abstinence, the risk of CHD is similar to that for people who have never smoked.
• Within five to 15 years of abstinence, the risk of stroke returns to the level of people who have never smoked.