KEYC - THRIVE: The Benefits Of Quitting Smoking

THRIVE: The Benefits Of Quitting Smoking

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After putting out that last cigarette for good, Mankato Clinic's Dr. Bob Gazzola says effects are almost immediate.

"Within even a half hour, if you're pretty much a chain smoker, you separate yourself at least 20 minutes, 30 minutes from that last cigarette, your heart rate starts to drop, your blood pressure starts to drop," Dr. Gazzola said.

One to two days after quitting, food starts to taste better.

However, two days out can also bring withdraw symptoms. These can feel like irritability, anxiety, and headaches.

"Those things you have to be O.K. with, accept, because that's just part of your body is healing from this stuff," Gazzola said.

A week after quitting, withdraw symptoms lessen.

A month or more out, breathing becomes easier, but coughing could increase.

"Your body gets a little sensitive with those cilia growing back and it just makes you a little more apt to cough," he said.

Even further out from there, the risk of cancers and heart disease drops.

"About one year out, it's about half of the additional risk that it had been when you were smoking," he said. "By about 10 to 15 years out, it almost equals that of a never–smoker."

Gazzola said the best thing a smoker can do for their health is to put out the cigarettes.

--KEYC News 12