Benefits of Smoking Cessation
Smoking cessation is crucial in preventing premature morbidity, disability, and mortality. The effectiveness of quitting tobacco use surpasses any other intervention to minimise the risk for chronic cardiac and respiratory conditions.
The immediate benefits of cessation include improved oxygenation, lowered blood pressure, improved smell, taste, circulation and breathing, increased energy, and improved immune response. Smoking cessation is associated with improved cognitive function, psychological well-being, and self-esteem.
Mortality and Smoking Cessation
A study with a large sample base showed that people live substantially longer when they stop smoking, regardless of the age at which they quit. Most of the excess mortality from smoking could be avoided by quitting smoking at age 35 years, and much of the excess mortality could be avoided by stopping smoking in middle age. Even smokers who quit at age 65 stand to gain 2.0 years of life expectancy among men and 3.7 years among women, relative to those who continue to smoke. These findings reinforce the urgency of emphasizing smoking cessation to all smokers, irrespective of age, and the importance of never assuming that a smoker is “too far gone.”
Cardiovascular System and Smoking Cessation
Among the modifiable risk factors, smoking contributes strongly to the prevalence of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. In patients with cardiovascular disease, the benefits of smoking cessation outperform those expected from other preventive strategies such as blood pressure or cholesterol control. In the most frequent cardiovascular diseases, smoking cessation is associated with a health benefit within 6 months, and the risk approaches the risk of never smokers after 10–15 years.
Respiratory System and Smoking Cessation
For respiratory diseases, there is a large evidence base of the benefits of smoking cessation on diminished loss of FEV1 and for numerous other outcomes in patients with mild to moderate Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Stopping smoking is also associated with a health benefit in patients with severe or very severe COPD, although the evidence is rather limited. Surprisingly, effects of smoking cessation on a common disease as asthma is not well examined, albeit all available studies show better disease control and fewer exacerbations with quitting smoking. In smoking-related lung diseases, cessation is associated with symptom and/or disease remission.
There are significant positive effects of smoking cessation on the health of lung cancer patients: decreased risk of disease, increased survival time, decreased postoperative complications, increased efficacy of chemotherapy, decreased radiation therapy complications, and improved Quality of Life. Lung cancer patients after successful smoking cessation report all the same benefits plus decreased fatigue and shortness of breath, increased activity level, and improved performance status, appetite, sleep, and mood. These benefits are of significant in part as patients with lung cancer have a greater symptom burden than patients with other cancers.
Tobacco smoking dramatically raises the risk of 12 forms of cancer and one in every seven current smokers will get lung cancer over their lifetime, according to a recent Australian study.
The number of cigarettes smoked per day can increase the risk of cancer, and even ‘light' smokers who smoke 1-5 cigarettes a day have a nearly 10-fold greater risk of lung cancer.
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Weber, Marianne F.; Sarich, Peter E. A.; Vaneckova, Pavla; Wade, Stephen; Egger, Sam; Ngo, Preston et al. (2021): Cancer incidence and cancer death in relation to tobacco smoking in a population-based Australian cohort study. In: Int. J. Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.33685.