It is Never Too Late to Benefit from Quitting Smoking
Smoking is a hard habit to break for the strongest of minds, and the longer you do it, the harder you may find it to set down the cigarette in favor of a more healthy coping mechanism. For you or your loved one, it may seem that smoking is a part of your daily routine— as much as your daily cup of coffee or checking the mailbox. It may seem too late to even think about quitting smoking. After all, perhaps you’ve been smoking for years now, and figure the damage is already done. This could not be farther from the truth. However, and it is never too late to benefit from the effects of quitting smoking can have on your health and well-being.
According to Cancer.org, cigarette smoking causes about one third (that’s about 30%) of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, it is not too late to consider quitting. If you have already been diagnosed with cancer, quitting smoking can lead to fewer complications with your treatment, and it could even help your treatment be more successful. Cancer is already a difficult and scary life experience, and it is always a good idea to help yourself and your doctor in any way you can. Doctors will typically ask if you smoke and are required to give you the help and guidance you need to make the change, including providing medication and counseling. Ask your doctor for these resources as soon as possible.
As mentioned previously, the idea of quitting smoking at an older age can feel daunting and even futile. You may have tried to quit before, only to fall back into the nasty habit. You may feel discouraged by this, but age and more experience can be an advantage. As an older adult, you have had more time to experience and overcome difficult tasks. Putting into perspective that smoking is just another of one these obstacles to overcome and that you are in control of the habits you choose to perpetuate, is one step to overcoming that mental block that could be keeping you from ultimately quitting.
If you need a little motivation to quit, consider the immediate effects quitting smoking can have on your health. In about only 20 minutes after you decide to quit, your blood pressure and heart rate will begin to decline. As day turns to night, the carbon monoxide in your blood will return to healthy, normal levels. In about 2 to 3 weeks after quitting, your lung function will increase and you will be able to perform activities you previously found difficult, such as playing a game of ball with your grandchildren or going on a bike ride with friends.
All in all, it is never too late to quit smoking, and you or your loved one are never too old to receive the benefits that quitting smoking can have on your health and well-being.