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Health Benefits of Quitting Tobacco Use

Posted 12/23/2015 by UHBlog

Many types of cancers are caused from using tobacco. People who use smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco) have a higher risk of cancers of the mouth.

There is no safe level of tobacco use. People who use any type of tobacco product are strongly urged to quit. People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, can improve their life expectancy compared with those who still smoke. Also, quitting smoking at the time of a cancer diagnosis lowers the risk of death.

Good things happen as soon as you quit smoking.

There are instant health benefits when you quit using tobacco:

  • In 20 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure begin to return to normal.
  • In a few hours, carbon monoxide in the blood returns to normal. (Carbon monoxide lowers the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.)
  • In a few weeks, you have better circulation, have less mucus, and don’t cough or wheeze as much.
  • In a few months, you can expect big improvements in lung function.
  • In a few years of quitting, you have lower risks of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases than if they had continued to smoke.
  • In addition, you will have a better sense of smell and food will taste better.

It can be hard to quit using tobacco. Nicotine is addictive. If you think it’s time to quit, talk to your doctor. If you are interested in joining a free four-week class to help you quit, call the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center’s health librarian at 216-286-4636 for more information.


  • National Cancer Institute. “Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting”
  • American Cancer Society. “Quit Like a Champion”

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