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Quitting smoking: It's never too late

Published by
d. March 7, 2024
Quitting smoking is never too late

It should come as no surprise, but smoking is very unhealthy! In fact, smoking is the single factor that has by far the biggest negative impact on the health of Danes.

Risk factors of smoking

Smoking increases the risk of a wide range of diseases, including COPD, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, smoking increases the risk of anxiety and depression, and every year more than 13,000 Danes die prematurely due to smoking.

Quitting smoking is never too late

But what happens if you stop smoking? And how long does it take before the risk is reduced - and will it ever be reduced?

Of course, it's never too late to quit - no matter how much and how long you've smoked, there are huge health benefits to be gained from quitting cigarettes. Your fitness level increases, blood flows more freely and the risk of the aforementioned diseases decreases.

The Danish Cancer Society has created the following overview of the physical benefits that can be experienced after quitting smoking:

Time after quitting smokingPhysical gain
20 minutesBlood pressure and heart rate drop
12 hoursBlood carbon monoxide levels normalize
2-12 weeks

Improves circulation and lung function

1-9 monthsLess shortness of breath and coughing
1 yearThe risk of blood clots in the heart is halved
5-15 yearsThe risk of stroke has decreased to the same as people who have never smoked
10 yearsThe risk of lung cancer is halved. There is also a reduced risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix and pancreas
15 years oldThe risk of blood clots in the heart has decreased to the same as for people who have never smoked

So there are many good effects to be gained from quitting smoking, regardless of when you put out your last cigarette. In addition, many people find that food tastes better, their sense of smell improves, there is less coughing, better sleep and much more.

A recent study also shows that the risk of complications from tobacco smoking decreases significantly after many years and that the risk factors can almost disappear completely.

The study compares active smokers with people who quit smoking 10+ years ago. The study shows that the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was reduced by 64 percent, the risk of cancer was reduced by 53 percent and the risk of dying from respiratory diseases was reduced by 57 percent compared to active smokers.

Warm up to quit smoking

If you're thinking about quitting smoking, it's a good idea to try to prepare yourself. In this regard, you can find very useful information from the Danish Cancer Society or contact Stoplinien. One way to strengthen the decision to quit smoking is to set a firm quit date.

This could, for example, be in connection with a health check at Health Group, a health check like this can include a measurement of your current lung function, and you can get advice and guidance on how to maintain your smoking cessation.