“Tobacco smoke – with more than 4,000 toxic substances – is associated with more than 27 diseases and, therefore, affects the human body as a whole,” says José Luis Díaz-Maroto, family doctor and coordinator of the Group of Tobacco Work of the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (Semergen).
There is always talk about cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and lung cancer, but we could mention other related pathologies, such as macular degeneration, the involvement of the skin with the formation of premature wrinkles, osteoporosis, the threat of abortion, low weight at birth
Effects from minute 20
The recovery of health when quitting smoking is a strong point to encourage the smoker patient to quit smoking; some benefits that occur immediately, others in the medium term, and others in the long term.
Benefits of abandoning this substance:
At 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse become normal, as well as body temperature.
At 8 o’clock, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood decreases.
At 24 hours, the risk of a cardiac event decreases.
At 48 hours, the senses of smell and taste are regenerated.
From two weeks to three months, circulation is improved.
From one to nine months, cough and fatigue decrease.
At one year, the risk of coronary heart disease is half compared to someone who still uses tobacco.
At five years, the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder decreases by half.
At 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer decreases to half of those who still smoke.
And, of course, a very important and unnamed benefit is to stop being dependent on a drug that produces a high physical dependence, which is nicotine and, therefore, you can live in freedom.
All summarized in a phrase that is worth highlighting in capital letters: “not tobacco, yes to life.”
How many smokers achieve it and how many falls back?
“It is known that when a smoker tries to stop smoking on his own, with health advice, the success rate is around 5 percent, but when that attempt to stop smoking is helped by psychological support and pharmacological treatment, success is around 30-40 percent, “says this family doctor.
Likewise, when smokers leave this habit with their willpower, in the first week they relapse around 70 percent.
Factors that influence success or failure:
In general, the earlier you try to stop smoking, the higher the success rate. The main factors that influence are the years of smoker, the number of cigarettes smoked, the way of smoking (number of puffs and depth of them) and other factors such as the gestural and social dependence.
Keys to achieve it and not relapse:
As for the key points for a successful smoking cessation, the Semergen expert is clear about this. In the first place, the smoker must be motivated enough to stop smoking, but it is also important that medical professionals make a correct diagnosis of the patient and offer adequate treatment.
It is important to emphasize that quitting smoking is possible, and that it will be the best measure that you adopt to improve your health and your quality of life.
The main causes of relapse in smoking patients are known: the withdrawal syndrome, the onset of depression and weight gain (the latter is a very important cause in women).
it is very important that the action to stop smoking is accompanied by psychological measures and the use of first-line drugs, which are replacement therapy with nicotine, bupropion and varenicline.