Infographic: Eight reasons to stop smoking now

Jul 7, 2020

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, killing almost half a million Americans every year. Smokers not only have an increased risk for lung disease, but also heart disease, stroke and cancer.

If you smoke, now is the time to stop. Eliminating smoking has both short-term and long-term rewards.  

  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1  year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s
  • 5 years after quitting: Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder are cut in half. Stroke risk also can fall to that of a non-smoker after two to five years.
  • 10 years after quitting: The risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a person who is still smoking.
  • 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.


Need help quitting? You don’t have to do it alone. The St. Joseph’s/Candler Tobacco Cessation Program is designed for any tobacco user or those who use e-cigarettes. A certified specialist can help you find your motivation and put a plan in place to stop smoking. Learn more at


Sources: and the Health Library at 

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