The Benefits of Quitting Smoking: Improving Blood Pressure and Overall Health
High BP, aka the ‘silent killer,’ is one of the health conditions that shows no symptoms and causes damage to the heart, brain, and other organs without any warning signs. People don't know they have it until it is too late. Quitting smoking can help you reduce the dangers of high blood pressure.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 8 million preventable deaths occur annually due to tobacco use. So, let us understand how smoking affects blood pressure and how quitting smoking impacts blood pressure.
How Smoking Affects Blood Pressure
Nicotine and carbon monoxide are two of the main components in cigarette smoke that can negatively impact the blood pressure. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that creates a feel-good effect temporarily. When combined with tobacco, it can cause narrowing of the blood vessels and an increase in the heart rate. This can trigger an increase in blood pressure. Carbon monoxide too limits the quantity of oxygen in the blood, which further raises the blood pressure.
Quitting smoking reduces exposure to these harmful chemicals and helps lower the risk of developing high blood pressure and related health problems. Easier said than done, we realize, but it isn’t impossible. There are various resources that can help you quit. You could go cold turkey and quit tobacco and never look back. But if withdrawal symptoms and cravings trouble you and you are seeing a gradual tobacco cessation plan, then NRT products like RYZE nicotine gums can support you. Consult a doctor before starting any NRT product.
How Does Quitting Tobacco Affect The Blood Pressure?
Studies have shown that smoking 2 cigarettes/hr can increase blood pressure by up to 5-6 mm Hg & will remain elevated for up to an hour after smoking a cigarette, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is most noticeable in regular smokers or those with BP issues.
The good news is that quitting tobacco can help you deal with this effectively. Stop cigarettes and your blood vessels begin to widen, which brings down the elevated blood pressure. Over time, as your body detoxifies, your blood pressure will begin returning to normal levels.
Overall Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking can have a wide range of health benefits beyond reducing blood pressure. Here are some other health benefits of quitting smoking:
Reduced Heart Disease Risk: Smoking elevates blood carbon monoxide levels, decreasing the blood's capacity to carry oxygen to the body. This puts more strain on the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease. When you stop smoking, your carbon monoxide levels drop while your oxygen levels rise. This reduces the burden on your heart, which in turn lowers your chance of developing heart problems.
Lowered Stroke Risk: Smoking weakens and narrows your blood vessel walls. By quitting, your blood vessels begin to heal and return to their earlier size, allowing for improved blood flow to your brain. This increased blood flow reduces the probability of a blockage or rupture, which is responsible for a stroke.
Improve Lung Function: Smoking tobacco harms the airways and tiny air sacs (alveoli) present in the lungs. When you stop smoking, your lungs gradually repair and clean out the buildup of mucus and toxins. Because of this, your lung capacity improves, breathing becomes easier, and the risk of lung disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer reduces
Improving Overall Quality Of Life: Quitting tobacco can improve your perception of taste and smell, lessen coughing and shortness of breath, and increase your energy levels. It can also help your mental health by reducing anxiety and nervousness.
Reducing Cancer Risk: Smoking is a major risk factor for various types of cancer, including lung cancer, bladder cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of developing these types of cancer.
Protecting Your Loved Ones: Smoking is harmful not only to the smoker but also to those exposed to indirect smoke. Quitting smoking also safeguards your loved ones from the dangers of passive smoking. Tobacco cessation is a sign of respect and care for those around you.
It is never too late to quit smoking. When you decide to quit tobacco use, you will notice an improvement in your health. Your life, as well as the lives of those around you, will improve.
The benefits of quitting smoking will also influence your finances- a win-win situation in every way.
We understand that kicking this habit might be difficult, but the reward is worth it. Quitting smoking is an excellent way to improve your health by lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and breathing-related conditions.
So, take the first step today and begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Benefits of quitting smoking
Once you quit smoking,
Within 2–3 hours: You can expect your nicotine levels to drop by half.
Within 12 hours: There is a 50% reduction in carbon monoxide levels.
Within 2-3 months: The blood circulation will improve, and the blood pressure will begin to normalize.
Within 10-12 months: The risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50% compared to someone who continues to smoke.
Within 5-10 years: The risk of stroke is similar to that of someone who has never smoked in their life.
Caption: The longer a person stays smoke-free, the greater the reduction in their risk of developing high blood pressure and related health issues.