Benefits of quitting tobacco
All UF Health Science Center and UF Health Shands facilities are tobacco-free. As a responsible health care organization, we are committed to preventing disease. The UF Health Science Center and Shands have a longstanding commitment to serving our patients and improving health in our communities. We feel it’s important to promote an environment that supports wellness and disease prevention as well as medical treatment. We also have a commitment to providing our staff and students with a healthy work and learning environment. We call on our faculty, staff, residents, students, volunteers and vendors and other customers to model health-promoting behaviors while on our properties. For the health and well-being of our patients, visitors and employees, no smoking or tobacco use is permitted anywhere on UF Health Science Center or Shands-owned or -operated campuses.
Tobacco-Free Together is about making healthy choices for our faculty, staff, students and visitors. Please join us in taking this step toward a healthier tomorrow!
Secondhand smoke; Cigarette smoking - quitting; Tobacco cessation; Smoking and smokeless tobacco - quitting; Why you should quit smoking
If you smoke, you should quit. But quitting can be hard. Most people who have quit smoking have tried at least once, without success, in the past. View any past attempts to quit as a learning experience, not a failure.
Video: Smoking tips to quit
There are many reasons to quit using tobacco. Long-term use of tobacco can increase your risk of many serious health problems.
THE BENEFITS OF QUITTING
You may enjoy the following when you quit smoking.
- Your breath, clothes, and hair will smell better.
- Your sense of smell will return. Food will taste better.
- Your fingers and fingernails will slowly appear less yellow.
- Your stained teeth may slowly become whiter.
- Your children will be healthier and will be less likely to start smoking.
- It will be easier and cheaper to find an apartment or hotel room.
- You may have an easier time getting a job.
- Friends may be more willing to be in your car or home.
- It may be easier to find a date. Many people do not smoke and do not like to be around people who smoke.
- You will save money. If you smoke a pack a day, you spend about $2000 a year on cigarettes.
Some health benefits begin almost immediately. Every week, month, and year without tobacco further improves your health.
- Within 20 minutes of quitting: Your blood pressure and heart rate drop to normal.
- Within 12 hours of quitting: Your blood carbon monoxide level drops to normal.
- Within 2 weeks to 3 months of quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
- Within 1 to 9 months of quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Your lungs and airways are more able to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
- Within 1 year of quitting: Your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone still using tobacco. Your heart attack risk drops dramatically.
- Within 5 years of quitting: Your risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancers are reduced by half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Your stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2 to 5 years.
- Within 10 years of quitting: Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about one half that of a person who still smokes.
- Within 15 years of quitting: Your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.
Other health benefits of quitting smoking include:
- Lower chance of blood clots in the legs, which may travel to the lungs
- Lower risk of erectile dysfunction
- Fewer problems during pregnancy, such as babies born at low birth weight, premature labor, miscarriage, and cleft lip
- Lower risk of infertility due to damaged sperm
- Healthier teeth, gums, and skin
Infants and children who you live with will have:
- Asthma that is easier to control
- Fewer visits to the emergency room
- Fewer colds, ear infections, and pneumonia
- Reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
MAKING THE DECISION
Like any addiction, quitting tobacco is difficult, especially if you do it alone. There are a lot of ways to quit smoking and many resources to help you. Talk to your health care provider about nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation medicines.
If you join smoking cessation programs, you have a much better chance of success. Such programs are offered by hospitals, health departments, community centers, and work sites.
American Cancer Society website. Benefits of quitting smoking over time. www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/benefits-of-quitting-smoking-over-time.html. Updated November 1, 2018. Accessed December 2, 2019..
Benowitz NL, Brunetta PG. Smoking hazards and cessation. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 46.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Quitting smoking. www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/cessation/quitting. Updated November 18, 2019. Accessed December 2, 2019.
George TP. Nicotine and tobacco.In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 29.
Patnode CD, O'Connor E, Whitlock EP, Perdue LA, Soh C, Hollis J. Primary care-relevant interventions for tobacco use prevention and cessation in children and adolescents: a systematic evidence review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(4):253-260. PMID: 23229625 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23229625.
Prescott E. Lifestyle interventions. In: de Lemos JA, Omland T, eds. Chronic Coronary Artery Disease: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 18.