Are you ready to help someone do something amazing? A Canadian Cancer Society survey found 73% of ex-smokers said the support of friends and family was crucial to their success at quitting smoking.
That means your support could be the game changer.
Although you can’t make up someone’s mind to quit, you can encourage them by reminding them of the progress they’ve made and the reasons they should stay on course.
Here’s a rundown of the key benefits of quitting smoking, so you can empower an ex-smoker to stay focussed on why they wanted to quit in the first place.
For both the lungs and the heart, quitting smoking is a big deal. Smokers have a higher risk of both lung cancer and coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks.
In the case of lung cancer, smokers are 20 times more likely to die from this compared to non-smokers, but the situation for ex-smokers improves over time.
The risk of developing coronary heart disease, another condition linked to smoking that can lead to heart attacks or angina, will also fall after quitting smoking. Staying smoke-free for a year could cut the risk of heart disease associated with smoking in half.
If the improvements inside the body aren’t immediately apparent enough for a celebration of the progress made when a smoker quits, there are plenty of visible bodily benefits as well.
Smoking can cause skin to sag, wrinkle or change colour. There are studies that suggest that some damage to skin caused by smoking can be undone by quitting.
Have you noticed any changes in the skin of someone you know who has quit? If so tell them, so they know they’re making progress!
Benefits to yourself and others
Of course smoking doesn’t only impact the person who smokes. There are consequences for friends and family too.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, more than 250 Canadians die each year from lung cancer as a result of long term exposure to secondhand smoke.
If you spend a lot of time around someone who has now given up smoking, celebrate the fact that this has made both of you healthier.
These benefits don’t just centre on the impact on the heart and lungs. Things like snoring can also be increased by smoking.
If your sleep has been interrupted by a smoker’s snoring, make sure they know that their snoring could be decreased by continuing their journey to a smoke-free life if they keep up their quit attempt.
Your own snoring may also be reduced. One study found that even non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to be habitual snorers than non-smokers who were not exposed to secondhand smoke.
Breathing easier, stronger senses of smell and taste, and less coughing are all benefits of quitting smoking that can show themselves very quickly after someone makes the break from smoking.
These are all noticeable improvements that you can point to as progress made and use for encouragement to keep their quit attempt going.
There are a lot of benefits that can happen very quickly when someone quits smoking, as you can see on the quit smoking timeline.
Now that you are aware of the benefits, you can celebrate every step of progress and help your friend or family member on the road to becoming smoke-free.