Smoking and using smokeless tobacco are directly linked to many kinds of cancer. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals, including over 60 carcinogens or chemicals known to cause cancer. When you inhale cigarette smoke these chemicals enter your lungs and spread through your body.
If you don’t smoke, never start. If you do smoke, quit. (The chances of getting lung cancer gradually decrease once you stop smoking. Avoid breathing second-hand smoke, which increases your risk for heart and lung diseases, including cancer.
There are immediate health benefits as soon as you put out your last cigarette, even if you already suffer health problems.
Reasons to quit
- Twelve hours after stopping, almost all nicotine is out of your system with most by-products gone within five days.
- After 24 hours, the level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped dramatically, meaning your body can take and use oxygen more efficiently.
- After two days, your taste and smell start to return.
- After two months, blood flow to your hands and feet improves.
- After one year, there is a rapid decline in your risk of heart disease.
- After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is reduced by half.