How do cooks feel when they smoke

Quitting smoking: this is how the body recovers

Quitting Smoking: The Benefits In Detail

First and foremost, quitting smoking can prolong life because: A quarter of adults who started smoking as teenagers die between the ages of 35 and 69 as a result of the direct consequences of smoking. Another quarter brings the smoke to the grave at the age of about 70 years. Not only the number of cigarettes smoked plays a role, but also the total duration of the smoking career.

Those who manage to quit smoking can at least partially reverse this development. The sooner the glow sticks are banned, the higher the chance of a long life - for example because the risk of tobacco-related cancer falls.

The risk of cancer decreases

The majority of lung cancers are caused by smoking. A look at the statistics shows how much tobacco consumption increases the risk of lung cancer: Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men (after prostate cancer) and the third most common in women (after breast and colon cancer).

The risk of developing lung cancer decreases by giving up smoking - and the more so, the longer it has been since you stopped smoking. Even so, for a very long time it is still higher than for people who have never smoked. This does not only apply to lung cancer, but also to cancer of the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach and pancreas.

Still, it's never too late to stop. Even people who already have cancer benefit from quitting smoking.

The airways recover

If smoking has not caused permanent damage, the lungs will recover within a year or two. How quickly it goes in individual cases depends on how long and intensely someone has smoked and how severely the lungs have been damaged.

For patients with the chronic lung disease COPD, stopping smoking is the only chance that the disease will not worsen. In addition, fewer COPD patients die from their disease if they stop smoking.

Heart and blood vessels also "breathe easy"

Just a few weeks after the last cigarette, the carbon monoxide content of the blood is back to the level of people who have never smoked. This means that more functional red blood cells are available. In addition, the viscosity of the blood improves - it becomes "thinner". This reduces the risk of blood clots forming that can block a vessel (such as in a heart attack or stroke).

That means: just six to twelve months after quitting smoking, the risk of a heart attack drops. After 15 years it is at the level of a non-smoker. The same goes for the risk of stroke if you quit smoking.

Skin - before and after

So your health benefits in many ways from quitting smoking. The physical changes also affect the appearance:

Smokers have around ten times more wrinkles than non-smokers. The appearance of the skin also depends on age and heredity, but environmental factors such as smoking and the sun also have a decisive influence on how “fresh and young” we look.

Slowed down skin aging

Typical smokers' skin is gray, pale and wrinkled. Of course there are also non-smokers with unhealthy complexions, but it is much more common in smokers. The increased wrinkles arise because the body breaks down the protein collagen faster and builds it up more slowly when smoking. Collagen is responsible for the elasticity of the skin.

The smoker's skin becomes pale because the tiny blood vessels contract and narrow as a result of the smoking - the blood supply to the skin is therefore poor. This is also the reason why smokers often have cold hands. One cigarette is enough to reduce blood flow in the skin for more than an hour!

When you quit smoking, the processes that take the skin out of its elasticity will slow down so that fewer new wrinkles will appear. In addition, the blood circulation improves - the skin looks rosier and healthier again.

The combination of smoking and frequent unprotected exposure to the sun is particularly harmful. This puts the skin under extreme stress - the result is increased wrinkling and an increased risk of skin cancer.

The weight levels off

After quitting smoking, many people put on weight - women usually a little more than men. One reason for this is seen in a reduced metabolism: In rest mode, the body burns a little less energy after quitting smoking than before. How quickly the metabolism returns to normal varies from person to person. It's usually pretty quick.

However, weight gain after quitting smoking can also have other reasons. Many people have an increased appetite as soon as they stop smoking. Even in situations in which they have previously smoked, some now resort to chocolate or nibbles instead. In addition, a Zurich research team has found that changes in the intestinal flora could also contribute to weight gain after quitting smoking.

Regardless of the reasons for the weight gain, the following applies: A few more kilos on the hips or on the stomach are much less harmful to health than continuing to smoke. Especially since you soon feel fitter again after quitting smoking and so you can often get rid of the additional kilos through more exercise - especially if you also pay attention to a healthy diet.

You can read more about smoking and weight in the article "Quitting Smoking: Keeping Weight!"

Other effects

Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis (bone loss), cataracts, the eye disease macular degeneration and stomach ulcers. These risks decrease when you stop smoking.

But not only you benefit from quitting smoking, but also those around you. Passive smoking is also massively damaging to health by making it more susceptible to cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases, for example.